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

Mission Trails, Oak Grove Loops

Discover a Kumeyaay dwelling nestled in a shady oak grove.

A replica of a Kumeyaay ’ewaa invites investigation along the Oak Grove Loop.
A replica of a Kumeyaay ’ewaa invites investigation along the Oak Grove Loop.
Place

Mission Trails Regional Park

One Father Junípero Serra Trail, San Carlos, CA

The highlights of this short hike include the transition from grasslands and coastal sage scrub habitats to small shaded oak woodland with majestic coast live oaks and rare Engelmann oaks found along a stream where a replica of a Kumeyaay home is found. The inviting shady area also has benches where one can sit and enjoy the butterflies and dragonflies that often visit. Interpretive panels tell about the Kumeyaay that once called this area home.

The willowy stems of sweet fennel and its characteristic licorice smell make it easy to identify.

The hike begins across from the entrance to the parking area for the Mission Trails Visitor Center. The best direction to do the loops is to begin by going left (north). That way the small loop can be made by turning right after 0.24 mile and hiking back to the starting area to begin the larger loop. When reaching the original 0.24-mile spot, which is now mile 0.76, turn left to do the large loop. The high points ahead of you are Kwaay Paay on the left and Pyles Peak on the right, on the other side of Mission Gorge.

Another small loop begins at 0.83. Go right to complete the smaller loop and rejoin the main trail at 1.09 miles. On this smaller loop, look for sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). Sweet fennel is an invasive plant that originally comes from the Mediterranean area and thrives in coastal sage scrub and grasslands. It is an erect tall herb with a characteristic licorice/anise smell, feathery leaves, and yellow flowers that are clustered in a large (up to four inches) umbel — an umbrella-like arrangement. In the Mediterranean region, it has been used as a spice for centuries. Do not mistake poison hemlock, a native plant in San Diego, for fennel. Poison hemlock does not smell of licorice and has reddish blotches on the stems.

Invasive nonnative plants are a problem, as they compete for resources and are often more aggressive than the native plants and end up squeezing them out of their own niche. Other harmful invasive plants include giant reed, artichoke thistle, pampas grass, and salt cedar (or tamarisk). All are found within Mission Trails Regional Park.

As soon as the main loop trail is rejoined, the coastal sage scrub immediately transitions to thick oak woodland, then the elevation descends toward a small stream. At mile 1.15, a Kumeyaay ’ewaa (house) appears beneath the shaded oak canopy. Typically, the frame for the dome-shaped dwellings was made from strong willow or sycamore branches lashed together with strips of bark. Slimmer leaved willow branches were then weaved into the framework. Benches are located along this shady path.

The trail joins the paved path at mile 1.43. Turn left and walk back toward the visitor center entrance, where the loop began.

  • Distance from downtown San Diego: 12.1 miles. Allow 21 minutes. From SR-163 north, take I-8 east to the Mission Gorge-Fairmount exit. Follow signs to turn north on Mission Gorge Rd. Drive 4.2 miles on Mission Gorge and turn left (west) on Father Junípero Serra Trail. Turn left again into the entrance and parking for the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center. Facilities available. The visitor center and parking area close at 5 p.m. daily.
  • Hiking length: 1.6 miles, including all three loops; or about 1 mile for just the main loop. Allow 1 hour.
  • Difficulty: Easy. Total gain in elevation of 377 feet. Picnic benches and trash cans just east of the start. Dogs on leash and mountain bikes allowed. Also popular with runners. Good for children.
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Björk Live from Reykjavik, Zoonotic Diseases of Marine Mammals

Events August 8-August 12, 2020
Next Article

Treetop Tutoring Center: Jeanne Volk‘s triple tutoring whammy

“Kids miss school friends they were used to seeing and playing with most days.”
A replica of a Kumeyaay ’ewaa invites investigation along the Oak Grove Loop.
A replica of a Kumeyaay ’ewaa invites investigation along the Oak Grove Loop.
Place

Mission Trails Regional Park

One Father Junípero Serra Trail, San Carlos, CA

The highlights of this short hike include the transition from grasslands and coastal sage scrub habitats to small shaded oak woodland with majestic coast live oaks and rare Engelmann oaks found along a stream where a replica of a Kumeyaay home is found. The inviting shady area also has benches where one can sit and enjoy the butterflies and dragonflies that often visit. Interpretive panels tell about the Kumeyaay that once called this area home.

The willowy stems of sweet fennel and its characteristic licorice smell make it easy to identify.

The hike begins across from the entrance to the parking area for the Mission Trails Visitor Center. The best direction to do the loops is to begin by going left (north). That way the small loop can be made by turning right after 0.24 mile and hiking back to the starting area to begin the larger loop. When reaching the original 0.24-mile spot, which is now mile 0.76, turn left to do the large loop. The high points ahead of you are Kwaay Paay on the left and Pyles Peak on the right, on the other side of Mission Gorge.

Another small loop begins at 0.83. Go right to complete the smaller loop and rejoin the main trail at 1.09 miles. On this smaller loop, look for sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). Sweet fennel is an invasive plant that originally comes from the Mediterranean area and thrives in coastal sage scrub and grasslands. It is an erect tall herb with a characteristic licorice/anise smell, feathery leaves, and yellow flowers that are clustered in a large (up to four inches) umbel — an umbrella-like arrangement. In the Mediterranean region, it has been used as a spice for centuries. Do not mistake poison hemlock, a native plant in San Diego, for fennel. Poison hemlock does not smell of licorice and has reddish blotches on the stems.

Invasive nonnative plants are a problem, as they compete for resources and are often more aggressive than the native plants and end up squeezing them out of their own niche. Other harmful invasive plants include giant reed, artichoke thistle, pampas grass, and salt cedar (or tamarisk). All are found within Mission Trails Regional Park.

As soon as the main loop trail is rejoined, the coastal sage scrub immediately transitions to thick oak woodland, then the elevation descends toward a small stream. At mile 1.15, a Kumeyaay ’ewaa (house) appears beneath the shaded oak canopy. Typically, the frame for the dome-shaped dwellings was made from strong willow or sycamore branches lashed together with strips of bark. Slimmer leaved willow branches were then weaved into the framework. Benches are located along this shady path.

The trail joins the paved path at mile 1.43. Turn left and walk back toward the visitor center entrance, where the loop began.

  • Distance from downtown San Diego: 12.1 miles. Allow 21 minutes. From SR-163 north, take I-8 east to the Mission Gorge-Fairmount exit. Follow signs to turn north on Mission Gorge Rd. Drive 4.2 miles on Mission Gorge and turn left (west) on Father Junípero Serra Trail. Turn left again into the entrance and parking for the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center. Facilities available. The visitor center and parking area close at 5 p.m. daily.
  • Hiking length: 1.6 miles, including all three loops; or about 1 mile for just the main loop. Allow 1 hour.
  • Difficulty: Easy. Total gain in elevation of 377 feet. Picnic benches and trash cans just east of the start. Dogs on leash and mountain bikes allowed. Also popular with runners. Good for children.
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego inside sports

El Cajon Speedway, dark side of NFL, pick-up b-ball, Lakeside's Jarrod Boswell, start of Padres, SDSU football scandal
Next Article

Will San Diego survive a fall without classical music?

Just as symphony, Mainly Mozart, La Jolla Music Society were getting stronger
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