Del Mar Mesa Preserve
Driving directions: (Del Mar) From downtown San Diego, take I-5 north to Del Mar. Stay in the right lane as you approach the I-5/I-805 merge and get on the I-5 Local Bypass road. Exit the I-5 Bypass road onto Carmel Mountain Road. Follow Carmel Mountain Road east through one signal, turning right at the next. Continue on Carmel Mountain Road for about 5 miles. Its name changes to Del Vino Road after crossing a bridge where the road narrows. Continue on Del Vino until you reach Rancho Toyon Place, on your right. Proceed down Rancho Toyon Place to the trailhead, on the right, just before a gated community. Park on the public street before entering the turn around.
Hiking length: 4.5 miles, out-and-back. Allow 2.5 hours hiking time.
Difficulty: Moderate, with elevation gain 400 feet.