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

Tecolote Canyon’s history writ in stone and sediment

A pleasant walk along the southern section

Area of the trail with views of the canyon
Area of the trail with views of the canyon

Tecolote Canyon, featured on area maps for almost 200 years, is designated a natural park 6 miles in length, .25 to .5-mile wide, with a 2-mile tributary totaling just over 900 acres. Elevations range from sea level at the canyon mouth to 320 feet at the head of Tecolote Canyon. The canyon rim is between 315 and 400 feet above sea level.

Trees along the trail

The geology of the park consists primarily of marine and nonmarine sedimentary rocks of the Scripps and Friars Formations of the Eocene Age (45–50 mya). These rocks make up the canyon walls, with Quaternary (1.8 mya) sedimentary rocks capping the mesas. The exception is at the canyon mouth where the northern wall into Bay Park consists of sediments of the Bay Point Formation of the Quaternary age (200,000 years). The Tecolote recreation center sits on marine sandstone of the San Diego Formation of Pliocene age (2–3 mya). The canyon floor consists of Holocene (recent) alluvium and slope wash.

Four faults have been mapped in the park, all located near the mouth. Behind the fence at center field of the upper baseball field, the Rose Canyon Fault can be seen where the margins show 50 mya Eocene sandstone of the Scripps Formation against red stippled Pleistocene conglomerate of only a half-million years. The Rose Canyon Fault parallels the San Andreas fault, extending north through La Jolla Shores.

Once past the baseball fields and nature center, follow the access road or trails that parallel first the water channel, then in the direction of the power lines to the end of the golf course, and then east to Genesee Ave. and back. The 4-mile walk turnaround point is at the peak of the hill under the power lines that overlooks the golf course. The longer hike follows the trail closest to the golf course. At the end of the course, turn east to Genesee Ave. and then head back.

Tecolote Canyon trail

Along the trail look for evidence of owls that the canyon is named for or other birds that include California thrashers, house wrens, hawks, towhees, and ravens. The walk along the trails and/or access road is a combination of good examples of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and riparian habitats mixed with erosion and power lines.

Tecolote Creek north of the golf course can run to a depth of 6–8 feet during the rainy season. In the summertime, the creek is normally dry, except for runoff from the course greens. The creek empties into Mission Bay at the Pacific Passage side of Fiesta Island. The creek also contributes to the groundwater table in the lower end of the canyon.

In 1957, the city government planned to use Tecolote Canyon as a sanitary landfill where cattle had grazed until 1953. This and other development plans were abandoned due to protests from residents of Linda Vista and Clairemont leading to the Park Procedural Ordinance adopted by the San Diego City Council in 1969. The Tecolote Canyon Park District was initiated by the council in January 1971, then adopted in July 1974, both by a unanimous vote. After the land acquisition was completed, the dedication ceremony was held on April 1, 1978.

Place

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Nature Center

5180 Tecolote Road, San Diego

Distance from downtown San Diego: Approximately 6 miles. From I-5, take exit 21 for Sea World Dr./Tecolote Rd. Turn right onto Tecolote Rd. and within a mile park at the nature center. The Tecolote Nature Center when open has facilities and water.

Hiking length: The hike described here is 4 miles, though it can be extended to a 6.5-mike hike if the trail is followed close to the intersection of Genesee Ave. and Marlesta Dr. and back.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on distance walked, with an elevation gain near 400 feet.

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

Previous article

T. E. Hulme: an influence on Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost

Six poems from the first Modernist poet
Area of the trail with views of the canyon
Area of the trail with views of the canyon

Tecolote Canyon, featured on area maps for almost 200 years, is designated a natural park 6 miles in length, .25 to .5-mile wide, with a 2-mile tributary totaling just over 900 acres. Elevations range from sea level at the canyon mouth to 320 feet at the head of Tecolote Canyon. The canyon rim is between 315 and 400 feet above sea level.

Trees along the trail

The geology of the park consists primarily of marine and nonmarine sedimentary rocks of the Scripps and Friars Formations of the Eocene Age (45–50 mya). These rocks make up the canyon walls, with Quaternary (1.8 mya) sedimentary rocks capping the mesas. The exception is at the canyon mouth where the northern wall into Bay Park consists of sediments of the Bay Point Formation of the Quaternary age (200,000 years). The Tecolote recreation center sits on marine sandstone of the San Diego Formation of Pliocene age (2–3 mya). The canyon floor consists of Holocene (recent) alluvium and slope wash.

Four faults have been mapped in the park, all located near the mouth. Behind the fence at center field of the upper baseball field, the Rose Canyon Fault can be seen where the margins show 50 mya Eocene sandstone of the Scripps Formation against red stippled Pleistocene conglomerate of only a half-million years. The Rose Canyon Fault parallels the San Andreas fault, extending north through La Jolla Shores.

Once past the baseball fields and nature center, follow the access road or trails that parallel first the water channel, then in the direction of the power lines to the end of the golf course, and then east to Genesee Ave. and back. The 4-mile walk turnaround point is at the peak of the hill under the power lines that overlooks the golf course. The longer hike follows the trail closest to the golf course. At the end of the course, turn east to Genesee Ave. and then head back.

Tecolote Canyon trail

Along the trail look for evidence of owls that the canyon is named for or other birds that include California thrashers, house wrens, hawks, towhees, and ravens. The walk along the trails and/or access road is a combination of good examples of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and riparian habitats mixed with erosion and power lines.

Tecolote Creek north of the golf course can run to a depth of 6–8 feet during the rainy season. In the summertime, the creek is normally dry, except for runoff from the course greens. The creek empties into Mission Bay at the Pacific Passage side of Fiesta Island. The creek also contributes to the groundwater table in the lower end of the canyon.

In 1957, the city government planned to use Tecolote Canyon as a sanitary landfill where cattle had grazed until 1953. This and other development plans were abandoned due to protests from residents of Linda Vista and Clairemont leading to the Park Procedural Ordinance adopted by the San Diego City Council in 1969. The Tecolote Canyon Park District was initiated by the council in January 1971, then adopted in July 1974, both by a unanimous vote. After the land acquisition was completed, the dedication ceremony was held on April 1, 1978.

Place

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Nature Center

5180 Tecolote Road, San Diego

Distance from downtown San Diego: Approximately 6 miles. From I-5, take exit 21 for Sea World Dr./Tecolote Rd. Turn right onto Tecolote Rd. and within a mile park at the nature center. The Tecolote Nature Center when open has facilities and water.

Hiking length: The hike described here is 4 miles, though it can be extended to a 6.5-mike hike if the trail is followed close to the intersection of Genesee Ave. and Marlesta Dr. and back.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on distance walked, with an elevation gain near 400 feet.

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

Jefferson Jay’s San Diego Music Hall Of Fame chooses legacy over the latest

“This is not an award show”
Next Article

Popular moderns at The Shell

Wayfarer loses its way, but Payare keeps focus
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town 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 Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves 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 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