Roam-O-Rama

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

Watch out for horse pies on Dead Horse Trail

This technically advanced riding trail is also a challenge for hikers.

Merigan Fire Road was the main road for a ranch owned by Dr. Haig Merigan, a pharmacist and dentist. His family lived and rode horses in La Mesa until it became difficult to ride due ...

Civita Park’s a work-in-progress

New public park in MIssion Valley opened on April 29

Built on a 70-year old sand-and-gravel quarry, Civita Park is a work-in-progress that will total 14.3 park acres centrally located in a 230-acre residential development. The top and bottom sections opened during Arbor Day weekend ...

Boulder Park builder allegedly paid a buck a day

Imagine climbing the 30% grade to reach this outpost along an old emigrant trail

The sculptures of Boulder Park have amused and surprised people for more than 80 years. W.T. Ratcliffe, an unemployed engineer during the Depression years, carved the stone sculptures in the 1930s where the natural shapes ...

Flora, fauna, and folks on San Luis Rey River bike trail

A quiet ride along the river

The San Luis Rey River bike trail is a multi-use trail that follows the San Luis Rey River, whose headwaters are in the Palomar Mountain range some 60 miles inland. The path runs along the ...

Look for — but don't take — the copper ore remains

Rancho La Costa Preserve was full of mines

The Rancho La Costa Preserve, located in the cities of Carlsbad and San Marcos, is a popular destination for both hikers and mountain bikers. Situated between Batiquitos Lagoon and Lake Hodges, the preserve serves as ...

Anza Borrego's Diablo — a triple divide peak

It confounds logic

It was the view from Diablo Peak’s north saddle that Anza-Borrego Desert State Park rangers first discovered Fish Creek’s popular Sandstone Canyon in the 1950s. The view of Sandstone Canyon continues to impress those who ...

Del Rey Canyon: a lesser known Chula Vista pocket canyon

South of East H Street, walk along the north-facing slope.

The Rancho del Rey community in Chula Vista is home to several urban canyons. Sometimes referred to as “pocket canyons” due to their relatively small size and the fact that they are tucked between more ...

Visit the hill where Alta California began

Presidio Park — try to channel Serra and Portola.

In 1769, Father Junípero Serra along with Gaspar de Portolá established the mission and presidio as the first European settlement on the Pacific Coast. There is minimal evidence of the original site just west of ...

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