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Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

With its natural beauty and abundant resources, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is one of my favorite places for biking, jogging and hiking – horseback riding is also a favorite for folks who frequent the canyon. Los Peñasquitos, meaning “little cliffs,” is an exhibit of serenity.

You can plan your biking or hiking route from either side of the canyon: Sorrento Valley Blvd. to the west or Black Mountain Road to the east. Biking from east to west, you’ll face a seven-mile stretch of tunneled trails and fast sweeping turns that will give your knees and leg muscles a test. 3.2 miles in, there’s a waterfall cascading through volcanic rock into a tropical pond – I usually reference it as the midway point on my bike trek.

From here, you will see many trails leading up to the mesa; they’re mostly single tracks that link different parts of the canyon. But both single and double tracks come in different grades – from climbing to downhill to rolling – with a variety of flavors (rock, stone, gravel, mud, clay, grassy and paved road). So choose your battle wisely.

Aside from its rich scenery, the canyon also holds Native American artifacts dating back as far as 7,000 years ago. The area was also part of the first Mexican land grant in San Diego County.

Along your way, you’ll find these historic landmarks: Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos Adobe Ranch House at the east end of the preserve (off Black Mountain Road) and the ruins of another adobe, El Cuervo, at its west end.

As far as geological formations, the Los Peñasquitos trail has a bit of everything, from riparian streams and flat mesa to steep hills. WIth the variety of terrain there’s many habitats, supporting a diversity of flora and fauna.

Some notable scenery I’ve found in my treks through the canyon:

  • • Lush stream where tree frogs, turtles, crayfish, largemouth bass and trout are abundance
  • • Freshwater marsh with aquatic birds including mallard ducks, white and great blue herons, egrets, and many more
  • • Streamside forest of giant California oaks and sycamore groves
  • • Squirrel, mule deer, bobcat, coyote, and raccoon (just a few of the mammal inhabitants)
  • • Aside from the typical critters, this area is also home to many rattlesnakes – so be alert!
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With its natural beauty and abundant resources, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is one of my favorite places for biking, jogging and hiking – horseback riding is also a favorite for folks who frequent the canyon. Los Peñasquitos, meaning “little cliffs,” is an exhibit of serenity.

You can plan your biking or hiking route from either side of the canyon: Sorrento Valley Blvd. to the west or Black Mountain Road to the east. Biking from east to west, you’ll face a seven-mile stretch of tunneled trails and fast sweeping turns that will give your knees and leg muscles a test. 3.2 miles in, there’s a waterfall cascading through volcanic rock into a tropical pond – I usually reference it as the midway point on my bike trek.

From here, you will see many trails leading up to the mesa; they’re mostly single tracks that link different parts of the canyon. But both single and double tracks come in different grades – from climbing to downhill to rolling – with a variety of flavors (rock, stone, gravel, mud, clay, grassy and paved road). So choose your battle wisely.

Aside from its rich scenery, the canyon also holds Native American artifacts dating back as far as 7,000 years ago. The area was also part of the first Mexican land grant in San Diego County.

Along your way, you’ll find these historic landmarks: Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos Adobe Ranch House at the east end of the preserve (off Black Mountain Road) and the ruins of another adobe, El Cuervo, at its west end.

As far as geological formations, the Los Peñasquitos trail has a bit of everything, from riparian streams and flat mesa to steep hills. WIth the variety of terrain there’s many habitats, supporting a diversity of flora and fauna.

Some notable scenery I’ve found in my treks through the canyon:

  • • Lush stream where tree frogs, turtles, crayfish, largemouth bass and trout are abundance
  • • Freshwater marsh with aquatic birds including mallard ducks, white and great blue herons, egrets, and many more
  • • Streamside forest of giant California oaks and sycamore groves
  • • Squirrel, mule deer, bobcat, coyote, and raccoon (just a few of the mammal inhabitants)
  • • Aside from the typical critters, this area is also home to many rattlesnakes – so be alert!
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Neat info How about a link to a Map of the area for your Readers?

July 23, 2010

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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