Quantcast
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

Buena Vista Park — Arroyo Vista Trail

 Hundreds of waterfowl, mostly mallards and coots, wait for a handout at the duck pond near the trailhead.
Hundreds of waterfowl, mostly mallards and coots, wait for a handout at the duck pond near the trailhead.

Buena Vista Park is a typical urban park, with manicured grass, ball fields, man-made ponds, and picnic tables. The Arroyo Vista Trail leads from the south end of the manicured park into a semi-wild natural area along Agua Hedionda Creek and passes near or through a dense riparian forest consisting of coast live oaks, arroyo willows, and sycamores, with an occasional toyon or sugar bush.

In places the forest is heavily infested with non-native plants, particularly eucalyptus and fan palms. It isn’t a virgin forest. Despite this, it is a dense, overarching forest dominated by huge, beautiful oaks and sycamores that provide welcome shade for tired hikers on hot days. There is some water in Hedionda Creek year around, and the creek also flows through a marshy area. As a result, it is a haven for birds — over 80 species of birds, both year-round residents and migratory visitors can be seen.

Most of the surrounding hillsides are covered with typical inland sage-scrub vegetation, dominated by California sagebrush, black sage, and buckwheat. These shrubs react to summer drought by losing most of their leaves. However, once the winter rains appear, they come to life, producing new leaves and flowers. If sufficient rain falls, a large assortment of annual flowering plants appears on the hillsides as well.

Walk to the south end of the parking area and cross the pond dam on the paved road. The trailhead for the Arroyo Vista Trail is signed and begins on the left at the end of the road. The trail is obvious and easily followed with very little elevation gain or loss. The only drawback is that mountain bikers and cross-country runners make extensive use of the park and this trail. As a result, the trail is eroded in places, and there are many unofficial trails leading from the main trail. However, you cannot get lost.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 40 miles. Allow 45 minutes driving time. Take the I-15 north to Escondido, then merge onto westbound SR-78. Exit SR-78 at Sycamore, go south for two blocks., then make a right on Shadowridge. Continue for about 2 miles to Antigua Drive, then make a left into Buena Vista Park. Parking near the trailhead isn’t a problem, but the nearest facilities are on the other side of Shadowridge Drive in the main part of the park. There are no facilities or potable water on the trail.

Hiking length: 2.5 miles out and back.

Difficulty: Easy with little elevation gain or loss. It is a good place for a morning walk, a quick run, or a short hike. Good also for families with children. There is much here children will find interesting. The best time to go is from October through May.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The Truth: no better suited than Catherine Deneuve

Hers truly is an imitation of life.
Next Article

A poem for Independence Day by Francis Scott Key

His poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” became the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”
 Hundreds of waterfowl, mostly mallards and coots, wait for a handout at the duck pond near the trailhead.
Hundreds of waterfowl, mostly mallards and coots, wait for a handout at the duck pond near the trailhead.

Buena Vista Park is a typical urban park, with manicured grass, ball fields, man-made ponds, and picnic tables. The Arroyo Vista Trail leads from the south end of the manicured park into a semi-wild natural area along Agua Hedionda Creek and passes near or through a dense riparian forest consisting of coast live oaks, arroyo willows, and sycamores, with an occasional toyon or sugar bush.

In places the forest is heavily infested with non-native plants, particularly eucalyptus and fan palms. It isn’t a virgin forest. Despite this, it is a dense, overarching forest dominated by huge, beautiful oaks and sycamores that provide welcome shade for tired hikers on hot days. There is some water in Hedionda Creek year around, and the creek also flows through a marshy area. As a result, it is a haven for birds — over 80 species of birds, both year-round residents and migratory visitors can be seen.

Most of the surrounding hillsides are covered with typical inland sage-scrub vegetation, dominated by California sagebrush, black sage, and buckwheat. These shrubs react to summer drought by losing most of their leaves. However, once the winter rains appear, they come to life, producing new leaves and flowers. If sufficient rain falls, a large assortment of annual flowering plants appears on the hillsides as well.

Walk to the south end of the parking area and cross the pond dam on the paved road. The trailhead for the Arroyo Vista Trail is signed and begins on the left at the end of the road. The trail is obvious and easily followed with very little elevation gain or loss. The only drawback is that mountain bikers and cross-country runners make extensive use of the park and this trail. As a result, the trail is eroded in places, and there are many unofficial trails leading from the main trail. However, you cannot get lost.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 40 miles. Allow 45 minutes driving time. Take the I-15 north to Escondido, then merge onto westbound SR-78. Exit SR-78 at Sycamore, go south for two blocks., then make a right on Shadowridge. Continue for about 2 miles to Antigua Drive, then make a left into Buena Vista Park. Parking near the trailhead isn’t a problem, but the nearest facilities are on the other side of Shadowridge Drive in the main part of the park. There are no facilities or potable water on the trail.

Hiking length: 2.5 miles out and back.

Difficulty: Easy with little elevation gain or loss. It is a good place for a morning walk, a quick run, or a short hike. Good also for families with children. There is much here children will find interesting. The best time to go is from October through May.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Bobbi and Mark sleep above the lions in Alpine

Lions Tigers & Bears is not a zoo
Next Article

Dress up with cork wedges from Aerosoles and a necklace from Pier 1

“For three months, I existed only on yoga pants and sweatpants.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close