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

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, ...

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