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

Cantebria Trail was part of the Ecke poinsettia empire

This coastal Encinitas trail offers surprising diversity in an urban setting

The lower trail follows a bluff lined with Torrey pines.
The lower trail follows a bluff lined with Torrey pines.

You will be pleasantly surprised to discover so many varieties of California native plants along this short urban canyon walk. This is an easily accessed trail, welcoming all levels. The trail is popular with neighbors and their leashed dogs, yet is never crowded. Bikes are rarely encountered.

The Cantebria Trail is part of the 9.5-mile Encinitas Ranch trail system that was included in the design of the 850-acre development in 1994. Previously, the property was part of the Paul Ecke Ranch, known for its world-famous poinsettias. The Eckes began their business in Hollywood and moved to Encinitas in 1923, originally growing their poinsettias outdoors. In the 1960s, they began growing indoors and selling cuttings. Then, in the 1990s they faced a lot of competition and began growing their poinsettias offshore in Guatemala and sold part of their ranch holdings, which were developed into the Encinitas Ranch. Unfortunately, the Eckes were not able to keep up with the competition. Paul Ecke III sold his poinsettia operation in 2012.

Matilja poppy along the upper trail

When this part of the Ecke Ranch was developed by Encinitas Ranch, the land surrounding the Cantebria Trail was left undisturbed. There are mature laurel sumac, Mission and Del Mar manzanita, lemonadeberry, mountain mahogany, and yerba santa along the trail. Large ceanothus and Torrey Pines are easily spotted a short distance from the trail. Begin the walk by going up the hill from the end of Rosebay Drive; at the top of the hill, take the path to the right at the Y-junction to descend. It’s a bit steep here but levels off shortly.

Sponsored
Sponsored

While coastal breezes keep Cantebria Trail pleasant year-round, the best time for color is March and April. In spring, there is wolfberry, wild hyacinth, spice bush, monkey flower, and Johnston’s honeysuckle in bloom. Deerweed shows off spectacularly, and the scent of sagebrush fills the air. In summer and fall, there may be San Diego wreathplant (Stephanomeria diegensis), Del Mar aster, tarplant, cobwebby thistle, and elderberry. Mountain mahogany with its many feathery-plumed fruit distinguish this rose family member from the surrounding scrub-like trees.

Cottontails dart across the trail in twilight hours. Scat gives away the presence of coyote. Finches chatter away as they forage among the sagebrush, chamise, and black sage. California towhees are nearly always visible. Wrentits and bushtits keep in touch with each other. In the spring, you will hear — and, if really lucky, see — grosbeaks calling to each other.

To make this a loop walk, turn left at the “T-junction” and walk up the hill. At the end of the canyon trail are Torrey Pines on a flat trail abutting the Encinitas Ranch houses. From here, views of the San Bernardino Mountains can be particularly exhilarating on a clear day after snowfall in the higher altitudes. Otherwise, turn around to retrace your steps where there may be plants not noticed on the way out!

Cantebria Garden Trail

CANTEBRIA TRAIL

Distance from downtown San Diego: 28 miles. Allow 30 minutes driving time in light traffic (coastal Encinitas). Take I-5 North to the Encinitas Blvd. exit. Turn right (east) on Encinitas Blvd. and travel for 0.5 mile. Turn left at Rosebay Dr. Continue to the end of Rosebay Dr. and park on the street. The trail is to your right and goes up the hill.

Hiking Length: 2 miles round-trip.

Difficulty: Easy. Elevation gain/loss about 50 feet. The trail is relatively flat in a coastal canyon, although one short section of trail is a bit steep. The trail runs parallel to Via Cantebria, and early in the hike there is some traffic noise. Dogs (on leashes) and bikes allowed. There is evidence of equestrian use. No facilities or water.

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

Author to San Diego goths: I'm no prude anti-ironist

Editor's picks of stories Justin Wolff wrote for the Reader
Next Article

Some Kind of Nightmare tours while Social Spit stays home

The difference between young and old punk rockers
The lower trail follows a bluff lined with Torrey pines.
The lower trail follows a bluff lined with Torrey pines.

You will be pleasantly surprised to discover so many varieties of California native plants along this short urban canyon walk. This is an easily accessed trail, welcoming all levels. The trail is popular with neighbors and their leashed dogs, yet is never crowded. Bikes are rarely encountered.

The Cantebria Trail is part of the 9.5-mile Encinitas Ranch trail system that was included in the design of the 850-acre development in 1994. Previously, the property was part of the Paul Ecke Ranch, known for its world-famous poinsettias. The Eckes began their business in Hollywood and moved to Encinitas in 1923, originally growing their poinsettias outdoors. In the 1960s, they began growing indoors and selling cuttings. Then, in the 1990s they faced a lot of competition and began growing their poinsettias offshore in Guatemala and sold part of their ranch holdings, which were developed into the Encinitas Ranch. Unfortunately, the Eckes were not able to keep up with the competition. Paul Ecke III sold his poinsettia operation in 2012.

Matilja poppy along the upper trail

When this part of the Ecke Ranch was developed by Encinitas Ranch, the land surrounding the Cantebria Trail was left undisturbed. There are mature laurel sumac, Mission and Del Mar manzanita, lemonadeberry, mountain mahogany, and yerba santa along the trail. Large ceanothus and Torrey Pines are easily spotted a short distance from the trail. Begin the walk by going up the hill from the end of Rosebay Drive; at the top of the hill, take the path to the right at the Y-junction to descend. It’s a bit steep here but levels off shortly.

Sponsored
Sponsored

While coastal breezes keep Cantebria Trail pleasant year-round, the best time for color is March and April. In spring, there is wolfberry, wild hyacinth, spice bush, monkey flower, and Johnston’s honeysuckle in bloom. Deerweed shows off spectacularly, and the scent of sagebrush fills the air. In summer and fall, there may be San Diego wreathplant (Stephanomeria diegensis), Del Mar aster, tarplant, cobwebby thistle, and elderberry. Mountain mahogany with its many feathery-plumed fruit distinguish this rose family member from the surrounding scrub-like trees.

Cottontails dart across the trail in twilight hours. Scat gives away the presence of coyote. Finches chatter away as they forage among the sagebrush, chamise, and black sage. California towhees are nearly always visible. Wrentits and bushtits keep in touch with each other. In the spring, you will hear — and, if really lucky, see — grosbeaks calling to each other.

To make this a loop walk, turn left at the “T-junction” and walk up the hill. At the end of the canyon trail are Torrey Pines on a flat trail abutting the Encinitas Ranch houses. From here, views of the San Bernardino Mountains can be particularly exhilarating on a clear day after snowfall in the higher altitudes. Otherwise, turn around to retrace your steps where there may be plants not noticed on the way out!

Cantebria Garden Trail

CANTEBRIA TRAIL

Distance from downtown San Diego: 28 miles. Allow 30 minutes driving time in light traffic (coastal Encinitas). Take I-5 North to the Encinitas Blvd. exit. Turn right (east) on Encinitas Blvd. and travel for 0.5 mile. Turn left at Rosebay Dr. Continue to the end of Rosebay Dr. and park on the street. The trail is to your right and goes up the hill.

Hiking Length: 2 miles round-trip.

Difficulty: Easy. Elevation gain/loss about 50 feet. The trail is relatively flat in a coastal canyon, although one short section of trail is a bit steep. The trail runs parallel to Via Cantebria, and early in the hike there is some traffic noise. Dogs (on leashes) and bikes allowed. There is evidence of equestrian use. No facilities or water.

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

Bell Bluff project near Alpine creeps into Cleveland Forest

Needs bridge across Sweetwater River; egress blocked by Powerlink
Next Article

Naked man at Santee YMCA produces litmus test

Will Nathan Fletcher trans cheerleading endure?
Comments
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 Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it 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 Theater — On stage in San Diego this week 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