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

Follow Peñasquitos Creek as it meanders through South Poway and Sabre Springs

Take time to enjoy views of Iron Mountain, Mount Woodson and an abundance of California native plants

Look for birds at Poway Pond
Look for birds at Poway Pond
Take in the views hiking up the ridge trail

This is a segment of the 110-mile Trans-County Trail that follows Peñasquitos Creek as it meanders through South Poway and Sabre Springs. About half of the hike is an easy walk through coastal sage scrub and grassland habitat on the edge of shady live oak, sycamore, and willow riparian groves. You will also pass through scrub oak forests and an extensive hillside wetland called Spring Meadow. Rattlesnake and mountain lion encounters are a remote possibility; however, poison oak is abundant here. It is difficult to recognize when the plant is dormant, but even the fallen leaves are a hazard for sensitive persons. The best time of the year for this hike is after the rains come and the wildflowers begin to appear, usually from February through June, but there are things of interest along the trail at any time of the year.

Place

Sabre Springs Park Trailhead

12650 Sabre Springs Parkway , San Diego

Find the trail beginning at the northwest corner of Bette Bendixen Minipark. It is simply marked ”Trail” here, but on some maps it is labeled the Beeler Creek Trail. It is only 0.2 mile long, but takes you through beautiful coast live oaks, willows, and other riparian vegetation lining Beeler Creek, on your left. Poway Pond also will appear on your right.

When you reach the private Taylor Pond, turn left onto the South Poway Trail. Follow it down the hill, across Beeler Creek, then continue up the slope on the South Poway Trail onto degraded grassland. When you reach the shrubby coastal sage habitat, look for a trail splitting off to the right and take it. In another 0.1 mile, you will come to a hairpin turn. Take the trail to the right and follow it up to the top of the ridge. The trail here seems to be paved with cobblestones. These stones, composed of Poway rhyolite, were rounded by tumbling in a riverbed in what is now Sonora, Mexico, during the Eocene Epoch, 55 million years ago.

Upon reaching the crest of the ridge, look for the signpost bearing emblems for the South Poway Trail and the San Diego Trans-County Trail. There is also a marker with a web address for an organization supporting a Sea to Sea Trail. Take time to enjoy the views from here, particularly of the popular Poway peaks to the east: Iron Mountain and Mount Woodson.

When you are ready to move on, follow the road down the west-facing slope of the ridge. In 0.6 mile, you pass the Creekside Elementary School on your left, and continue along the trail to the bridge crossing Penasquitos Creek. The trail then descends down the creek bank, makes a 90 degree turn, and goes under the bridge and then onto the Peñasquitos Bike Path. The bike path is mostly up out of the Peñasquitos Creek riparian corridor, but it is close enough for you to enjoy shade from the many huge coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), California sycamores (Platanus racemosa), arroyo willows (Salix lasiolepsis) and non-natives including eucalyptus, Mexican fan palms, and tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima). Native California wild grapes (Vitis girdiana), San Diego sedge (Carex spissa), California bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus), and other sedges and rushes form a dense understory that usually hides the slowly flowing water in the creek.

Further west, the bike trail ends, but the San Diego Trans-County Trail continues, entering a patchwork of coastal sage scrub with abundant California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), San Diego goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii), Broom baccharis (Baccharis sarothroides), and telegraph weed (Heterotheca grandiflora), all in flower in the fall. You can enjoy patches of dense scrub oak forest (Quercus berberidifolia) throughout the year. These oaks frequently reach over your head, almost forming a tunnel.

After you have hiked about 2 miles, the trail passes through the Spring Meadow wetland. Even in the summer, in the midst of a drought, you will find mud puddles and water flowing across the trail here. The water supports thickets of bull rushes and southern cattails, as well as sedges, rushes, and other wetland species, including the beautiful pink-flowered marsh fleabane (Pluchea odorata). The source of the water is not obvious. Perhaps it marks a geological fault running for about 0.1 mile parallel to or above the trail.

Cypress Hill, our destination and turn-around point, is now in sight. The Trans-County Trail continues around the north side of the hill, but as you begin to swing around the base of the hill, find a poorly maintained trail going steeply up the hill, on your left. After a 180-foot climb in 0.16 mile, you reach the hilltop where a large American flag flies. From here, you can see most of the trail you have covered and also the way back to your vehicle.

SABRE SPRINGS—SOUTH POWAY TRANS-COUNTY TRAIL

Enjoy an abundance of California native plants.

Sabre Springs South Poway Trans-County Trail map

Driving directions: From I-15, take exit 18, Poway Road. Go east on Poway Road 3 miles to Pomerado Road. Turn right on Pomerado Road. Drive another 0.4 mile to Old Pomerado Road, on your right. Follow Old Pomerado Road 0.3 mile to the Bette Bendixen Minipark, also on the right, and park on the street. This is the trailhead for the hike. Hiking length: 5.5 miles out-and-back. Allow 3 hours hiking time. Difficulty: Easy with an elevation gain/loss of 380 feet. The trail is open to hikers and leashed dogs, non-motorized bicycles, and equestrians.

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

Previous article

Freemont cottonwoods along the San Diego River

Egrets, herons, terns start feeding in San Diego's wetlands
Next Article

Dance away heartbreak with SIDNĒ

“I’ve seen Satanic puppet shows, plastic baby dolls used as instruments, and 30 minutes of pitched yelling to melodic noise tracks.”
Look for birds at Poway Pond
Look for birds at Poway Pond
Take in the views hiking up the ridge trail

This is a segment of the 110-mile Trans-County Trail that follows Peñasquitos Creek as it meanders through South Poway and Sabre Springs. About half of the hike is an easy walk through coastal sage scrub and grassland habitat on the edge of shady live oak, sycamore, and willow riparian groves. You will also pass through scrub oak forests and an extensive hillside wetland called Spring Meadow. Rattlesnake and mountain lion encounters are a remote possibility; however, poison oak is abundant here. It is difficult to recognize when the plant is dormant, but even the fallen leaves are a hazard for sensitive persons. The best time of the year for this hike is after the rains come and the wildflowers begin to appear, usually from February through June, but there are things of interest along the trail at any time of the year.

Place

Sabre Springs Park Trailhead

12650 Sabre Springs Parkway , San Diego

Find the trail beginning at the northwest corner of Bette Bendixen Minipark. It is simply marked ”Trail” here, but on some maps it is labeled the Beeler Creek Trail. It is only 0.2 mile long, but takes you through beautiful coast live oaks, willows, and other riparian vegetation lining Beeler Creek, on your left. Poway Pond also will appear on your right.

When you reach the private Taylor Pond, turn left onto the South Poway Trail. Follow it down the hill, across Beeler Creek, then continue up the slope on the South Poway Trail onto degraded grassland. When you reach the shrubby coastal sage habitat, look for a trail splitting off to the right and take it. In another 0.1 mile, you will come to a hairpin turn. Take the trail to the right and follow it up to the top of the ridge. The trail here seems to be paved with cobblestones. These stones, composed of Poway rhyolite, were rounded by tumbling in a riverbed in what is now Sonora, Mexico, during the Eocene Epoch, 55 million years ago.

Upon reaching the crest of the ridge, look for the signpost bearing emblems for the South Poway Trail and the San Diego Trans-County Trail. There is also a marker with a web address for an organization supporting a Sea to Sea Trail. Take time to enjoy the views from here, particularly of the popular Poway peaks to the east: Iron Mountain and Mount Woodson.

When you are ready to move on, follow the road down the west-facing slope of the ridge. In 0.6 mile, you pass the Creekside Elementary School on your left, and continue along the trail to the bridge crossing Penasquitos Creek. The trail then descends down the creek bank, makes a 90 degree turn, and goes under the bridge and then onto the Peñasquitos Bike Path. The bike path is mostly up out of the Peñasquitos Creek riparian corridor, but it is close enough for you to enjoy shade from the many huge coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), California sycamores (Platanus racemosa), arroyo willows (Salix lasiolepsis) and non-natives including eucalyptus, Mexican fan palms, and tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima). Native California wild grapes (Vitis girdiana), San Diego sedge (Carex spissa), California bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus), and other sedges and rushes form a dense understory that usually hides the slowly flowing water in the creek.

Further west, the bike trail ends, but the San Diego Trans-County Trail continues, entering a patchwork of coastal sage scrub with abundant California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), San Diego goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii), Broom baccharis (Baccharis sarothroides), and telegraph weed (Heterotheca grandiflora), all in flower in the fall. You can enjoy patches of dense scrub oak forest (Quercus berberidifolia) throughout the year. These oaks frequently reach over your head, almost forming a tunnel.

After you have hiked about 2 miles, the trail passes through the Spring Meadow wetland. Even in the summer, in the midst of a drought, you will find mud puddles and water flowing across the trail here. The water supports thickets of bull rushes and southern cattails, as well as sedges, rushes, and other wetland species, including the beautiful pink-flowered marsh fleabane (Pluchea odorata). The source of the water is not obvious. Perhaps it marks a geological fault running for about 0.1 mile parallel to or above the trail.

Cypress Hill, our destination and turn-around point, is now in sight. The Trans-County Trail continues around the north side of the hill, but as you begin to swing around the base of the hill, find a poorly maintained trail going steeply up the hill, on your left. After a 180-foot climb in 0.16 mile, you reach the hilltop where a large American flag flies. From here, you can see most of the trail you have covered and also the way back to your vehicle.

SABRE SPRINGS—SOUTH POWAY TRANS-COUNTY TRAIL

Enjoy an abundance of California native plants.

Sabre Springs South Poway Trans-County Trail map

Driving directions: From I-15, take exit 18, Poway Road. Go east on Poway Road 3 miles to Pomerado Road. Turn right on Pomerado Road. Drive another 0.4 mile to Old Pomerado Road, on your right. Follow Old Pomerado Road 0.3 mile to the Bette Bendixen Minipark, also on the right, and park on the street. This is the trailhead for the hike. Hiking length: 5.5 miles out-and-back. Allow 3 hours hiking time. Difficulty: Easy with an elevation gain/loss of 380 feet. The trail is open to hikers and leashed dogs, non-motorized bicycles, and equestrians.

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

Donald Davidson: Fugitives founder was most passionate and devoted

Also a founding member of the Agrarians
Next Article

Going beyond banh mi at Banh Mi Hoi An

Terrific take-out options include a warming beef stew
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 — 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