Roam-O-Rama

Be careful near the monument — often home to a beehive.

Arroyo Seco Loop off Highway 79

Wide sweeping views? Check. An aircraft engine from the 1920s? Check. Bedrock morteros at a peaceful backcountry trail camp? Check. This loop hike includes the entire length of Airplane Ridge, breezes by interesting rock formations, ...

Little worry of getting lost

Beauty between the 94, Sweetwater River, Steele Canyon, and Cottonwood Golf Course

The relatively unknown Par 4 trails wind through the east end of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge’s Sweetwater River Unit. The area is boxed in by Highway 94 to the south and west; Steele Canyon ...

Burk's Bench — even better than Fonts Point

Palm Springs developer lost interest in Borrego

Most folks who drive or hike up Fonts Point Wash head to the spectacular viewpoint 4.8 miles from Highway S-22. It is one of the most scenic and popular viewpoints in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, ...

Japacha Peak — like Cuyamaca without antennas

Chaparral and mixed conifers

While Cuyamaca Peak gets all the fame as being San Diego County’s second-highest peak at 6512 feet, its lesser-known neighbor to the south, Japacha Peak, sports panoramic views without antenna towers adorning the summit. This ...

Get close to sagebrush, toyon, lemonadeberry, laurel sumac, and black sage — in a wheelchair

Trail for All People open one year now

The Trail for All People is one of the few trails in the county that is wheelchair accessible, built to ADA requirements. The trail was created for people with mobility issues within Black Mountain Open ...

Hike along the redwood flume that brought water to La Mesa

Differing life forms along Helix Flume Trail

The newest segment of the Helix Flume Trail between the old El Monte Pump Station on El Monte Road to Lake Jennings opened to the public in February 2017. The opening of this trail was ...

Get an early start on Descanso’s Blue Ribbon Loop along Sweetwater Creek

Lush river vegetation

If you are looking for a loop hike in the Cuyamacas with a mix of sun and shade, old road and narrow trail, a variety of wildflowers, and a shady creekside spot to rest, then ...

Part of Cuyamaca spared by 2003 Cedar Fire

East Mesa's grassland is non-native

In 1923, wealthy Beverly Hills residents Ralph and Helen Dyar purchased 20,000 acres of the original 35,500-acre Rancho Cuyamaca Spanish land grant and built their summer home near what is now the Park’s Visitor Center ...

Don't disturb the horses — Granite Springs Trail Camp

Pastoral grasslands with Cuyamaca and Laguna views

The standard route to Granite Springs is from the Sweetwater Trailhead located in Cuyamaca Rancho State Parks south-central region, but if you prefer a quieter approach, the Deer Park Trail offers plenty of solitude, wildflowers, ...

Get close but not too close to Carrizo Gorge trestle

One of the highest wooden trestles in North America

The trek to upper Goat Canyon is not a long hike but it is strenuous because of the rough terrain and boulder-hopping above Mortero Palms. The canyon’s name correctly implies that the nimbleness of a ...

A chaparral oasis — Crestridge Ecological Reserve

Avoid the spur trails and give way to horses

This is a relatively short out-and-back hike for those who want to find a trail with few people and that is easy to reach. The trail’s filled with many different chaparral flora and animals — ...

Peña Spring — a cool spot in Anza-Borrego

3500 feet above desert floor

If your route into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park takes you on S-22, sometimes known as Montezuma Grade, and past the hamlet of Ranchita, then you are well aware of the inspiring vistas as you wind ...

Desert bighorn sheep big fans of Big Spring

Explore a major upper-elevation watering hole for desert wildlife

Big Spring is one of the dependable watering holes for desert bighorn sheep. It is found in a tributary of upper Tubb Canyon and is easily accessible. The trail within the spring area is jungle-like ...

Explore a relatively unknown canyon of Anza-Borrego

Head to Hornblende Canyon if you wanna rock

Hornblende Canyon twists and turns as it climbs the shoulder of Granite Mountain. It has a great variety of plants, some dry waterfalls, old mines, plus Native American sites with morteros. As part of the ...

Trail angels: From Campo to Canada on foot

Bread Stick = Trail Food

“Each day on the trail was the only possible preparation for the one that followed.” — Cheryl Strayed, from her introduction to Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close