The Canyoneers

Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to lead interpretive nature walks that teach appreciation for the great outdoors. Read more about them in Coast to Cactus: The genesis of San Diego's definitive hiking guide.

Schedule of free public hikes.

Articles by The Canyoneers

Lower Santa Ysabel Trail: traverse a magnificent forest of large coast live oaks

Hike through shady oak woodlands and enjoy outstanding mountain views

This trail offers plenty of shade and interesting things to see and investigate nearly year round. You will find a continuously changing array of wildflowers and blooming shrubs and trees from November to late May ...

LA politician Manchester Boddy dug five ponds, built greenhouses, to create Wilderness Gardens Preserve

The mile-long Frank Special Trail leads you through a shady oak woodland and up the chaparral-covered hillside

For a brief time in the 20th century, the Wilderness Gardens property was owned and named by Manchester Boddy, a Los Angeles politician, publisher, and horticulturist. For his “wilderness,” he dug five ponds, built greenhouses ...

Barber Mountain Trail: used for SDG&E power line access, border patrol, fire response, and a little foot traffic

Walk through miles of unspoiled chaparral and uninhabited vistas.

Before the major wildfires of 2003 and 2007 and the installation of the Sunrise Power Link, Barber Mountain Road was a jeep road that connected upper Deerhorn Valley to Honey Springs Road. Since that time, ...

Enjoy lunch at Agua Caliente Creek on the Pacific Crest Trail

Take this hike for Lake Henshaw views and a wilderness experience

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a well-traveled 2,650-mile trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Along this trail are many day-hike or overnight backpacking possibilities. Here in San Diego County, we have ...

Lightning Ridge Trail: find Horse Heaven Group Campground off Laguna Mountain

Despite the name, this is not a horse camp.

Lightning Ridge Trail is accessible and enjoyable during all seasons, but especially beautiful in the spring and summer, when flowers and shrubs are blooming. This is a good time to hike this trail, especially with ...

Visit Santee’s Rattlesnake Mountain... but stay on the trail

This short hike leads to a spectacular view of East County

Rattlesnake Mountain is best known to East County residents as the mountain that has the illuminated star during the holiday season that is visible for miles. It is just east of Gillespie Field. Apart from ...

Dredging large dirt parking lot opened up the tidal flow for San Dieguito Lagoon

Today the lagoon is full of plant and bird life

San Dieguito Lagoon is the largest of San Diego County’s six lagoons and is part of the 92,000-acre San Dieguito River Park. The park contains the Coast to Crest Trail, which will eventually run from ...

Anza-Borrego’s Lycium Wash via Split Mountain Road: a more primitive experience

Hike along an ancient sea bottom with multi-hued hillsides

Located south of Ocotillo Wells, Lycium Wash via Split Mountain Road is about 45 minutes from Anza Borrego Desert State Park’s Visitor Center, making it an ideal hike for those wishing to have a more ...

Walk the Embarcadero along Harbor Drive and the airport

Stop at the Star of India, USS Midway Museum, Tuna Harbor, Marine Park and enjoy great views

San Diego Harbor not only bounds downtown to the west, it also marks the edge of a rich habitat. As you look out to the bay, you can see Coronado/North Island. Technically, the “island” is ...

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