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Rose Canyon

Watch for hawks and owls in Rose Creek, a 275-acre oasis around the old Santa Fe Railroad roadbed. Volunteers have planted a native garden near the trailhead.

Leaving the riparian area and moving toward the chaparral area of the trail
Leaving the riparian area and moving toward the chaparral area of the trail

Rose Canyon is one of the many local canyons set aside for walking, jogging, and bike riding. Views of the canyon from the bridge show its diversity, with four different habitats easily distinguished: chaparral, coastal sage scrub, riparian, and oak woodlands. The canyon was named for Louis Rose, who purchased over 600 acres to ranch and run a tannery in 1853. Until his death in 1888, Rose advanced the interests of the county through his active participation in city government as a trustee, postmaster, and land speculator who developed Roseville in Point Loma. In 1913, George Sawday’s cattle operation included Rose Canyon, with the last of the ranch structures evident until the 1960s.

In winter months, frost covers the south side where shaded areas are slow to warm and cold air pools at the canyon’s base. Rose Creek, visible in small glimpses from the wide trail, centers the riparian plants that include willows, toyon, and sycamore trees that provide sporadic shade. The 23,427-acre Rose Canyon Watershed starts from runoff on the western slopes of Scripps Ranch through MCAS Miramar, joining with San Clemente and Stevenson Canyons and their tributaries while Rose Creek enters Mission Bay at the Kendall Frost Marsh.

Nature trails put in by the La Jolla Rotary Club start near the bridge and are an interesting side trip through an elfin forest. California sagebrush, currants, and toyon are among the native plants included.

Heteromeles arbutifolia commonly called toyon or Christmas berry, is a member of the rose family that includes apples, cherries, peaches, almonds and strawberries. Toyon, a tall evergreen scrub, is easily noticed during the winter months when the pulp carbohydrate levels increase, turning berries from green to a vivid red. The ripened fruit with the toxic cyanogenic glucosides shifted from the pulp into the seed are now an attractive meal to robins, mockingbirds, and cedar waxwings that assist in seed dispersal when feasting.

A good turnaround point is after crossing a bridge at 1.5 miles, when the trail veers along railroad tracks, Interstate 5, and the Rose Canyon Fault. Evidence of the Scripps Formation and Bay Point Formation margin can be viewed after a 15-minute drive south to West Tecolote Canyon.

Rose Canyon Open Space Map

Distance from downtown San Diego: 13 miles. Allow 20 minutes’ driving time (University City). From Hwy. 52 or Clairemont Mesa Blvd. take Genesee Ave. north to Decoro St. Park on Decoro St. on the west side of Genesee Avenue. Walk south on Genesee back to the trailhead. No facilities.

Hiking length: Three miles total, returning on the same route.

Difficulty: Easy. Elevation change up to 200 feet.

Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to lead interpretive nature walks that teach appreciation for the great outdoors. Schedule of free public hikes.

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Three poems for August by Dorothy Parker

With an acidic wit and keen eye for flawed humanity
Leaving the riparian area and moving toward the chaparral area of the trail
Leaving the riparian area and moving toward the chaparral area of the trail

Rose Canyon is one of the many local canyons set aside for walking, jogging, and bike riding. Views of the canyon from the bridge show its diversity, with four different habitats easily distinguished: chaparral, coastal sage scrub, riparian, and oak woodlands. The canyon was named for Louis Rose, who purchased over 600 acres to ranch and run a tannery in 1853. Until his death in 1888, Rose advanced the interests of the county through his active participation in city government as a trustee, postmaster, and land speculator who developed Roseville in Point Loma. In 1913, George Sawday’s cattle operation included Rose Canyon, with the last of the ranch structures evident until the 1960s.

In winter months, frost covers the south side where shaded areas are slow to warm and cold air pools at the canyon’s base. Rose Creek, visible in small glimpses from the wide trail, centers the riparian plants that include willows, toyon, and sycamore trees that provide sporadic shade. The 23,427-acre Rose Canyon Watershed starts from runoff on the western slopes of Scripps Ranch through MCAS Miramar, joining with San Clemente and Stevenson Canyons and their tributaries while Rose Creek enters Mission Bay at the Kendall Frost Marsh.

Nature trails put in by the La Jolla Rotary Club start near the bridge and are an interesting side trip through an elfin forest. California sagebrush, currants, and toyon are among the native plants included.

Heteromeles arbutifolia commonly called toyon or Christmas berry, is a member of the rose family that includes apples, cherries, peaches, almonds and strawberries. Toyon, a tall evergreen scrub, is easily noticed during the winter months when the pulp carbohydrate levels increase, turning berries from green to a vivid red. The ripened fruit with the toxic cyanogenic glucosides shifted from the pulp into the seed are now an attractive meal to robins, mockingbirds, and cedar waxwings that assist in seed dispersal when feasting.

A good turnaround point is after crossing a bridge at 1.5 miles, when the trail veers along railroad tracks, Interstate 5, and the Rose Canyon Fault. Evidence of the Scripps Formation and Bay Point Formation margin can be viewed after a 15-minute drive south to West Tecolote Canyon.

Rose Canyon Open Space Map

Distance from downtown San Diego: 13 miles. Allow 20 minutes’ driving time (University City). From Hwy. 52 or Clairemont Mesa Blvd. take Genesee Ave. north to Decoro St. Park on Decoro St. on the west side of Genesee Avenue. Walk south on Genesee back to the trailhead. No facilities.

Hiking length: Three miles total, returning on the same route.

Difficulty: Easy. Elevation change up to 200 feet.

Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to lead interpretive nature walks that teach appreciation for the great outdoors. Schedule of free public hikes.

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This would such a great place for a disc golf course.

March 8, 2012

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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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