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Stories by The Canyoneers

Harper Canyon: home to ironwood trees, dramatic geology and desert bighorn sheep

Harper Canyon is home to hundreds of magnificent ironwood trees (Olneya terota). They can become quite large and, though the pinnately compound leaves don’t provide abundant shade, they are evergreen and attractive year around. Since ...

February 6, 2019
Hoyt Park Trail: A quiet canyon shaded by eucalyptus trees

The Hoyt Park Trail in Scripps Ranch offers a chance to escape traffic and crowds in a quiet canyon shaded by eucalyptus trees. It is a short distance from the Scripps Ranch Village Shopping Center ...

January 30, 2019
Urban canyoneering

Olivia Canyon. also known as 47th Street Canyon, is the eastern-most canyon of the City Heights Canyons Loop Trail system. There are five trailheads into this canyon. Near the entry at 47th Street, you will ...

January 23, 2019
Pamo Valley: isolated from the sounds of the city

Pamo Valley is a beautiful, peaceful little valley that seems very isolated in spite of its closeness to nearby Ramona. Though you are within a few miles of town, you can no longer hear the ...

January 16, 2019
Dictionary Hill: the newest open space preserves in the county

The hill with the funny name has a lot of things going for it. It had been scheduled for a major housing development that would have leveled and lowered the summit by many feet. Through ...

January 9, 2019
A garden of gardens

San Diego Botanic Garden has a collection of over 4,000 unique plants, many found at exotic locations throughout the world. You can explore habitats from places you would like to visit without ever leaving San ...

January 2, 2019
A park built on a fault line in East Village

Fault Line Park, the first public park in East Village, is adjacent to two high-rise apartment complexes on its east side. It is a public park because no structures for human occupancy can be built ...

December 26, 2018
Climb a mini peak in rural East County

Tucked into the foothills of Otay Mountain, this unassuming peaklet provides a quick getaway if you have just a couple of hours but want to escape the crowds and enjoy views of mountains near and ...

December 19, 2018
Enjoy a walk on the mild side

San Diego is blessed with many nice public walks, and this is one of the nicer ones, because it hugs the south shore of Mission Bay opposite Fiesta Island. It is named for Rose Marie ...

December 12, 2018
Watch as the bird populations change with the seasons

A new birding trail has been opened at the very bottom of San Diego Bay in Imperial Beach within the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. There is a well-marked dirt path stemming from the ...

December 5, 2018
Follow Peñasquitos Creek as it meanders through South Poway and Sabre Springs

This is a segment of the 110-mile Trans-County Trail that follows Peñasquitos Creek as it meanders through South Poway and Sabre Springs. About half of the hike is an easy walk through coastal sage scrub ...

November 28, 2018
Poway's trail less traveled

The out-and-back trip is an easy walk through coastal sage scrub and grassland habitat, with an occasional dip into shady live oak, poplar, sycamore and willow riparian groves. It is good for everyone, including parents ...

November 7, 2018
A peak experience with spectacular desert views

Many reasons have been given for climbing Sombrero Peak, including its distinctive shape and the fact that it is quite prominent when viewed from Indian or Bow Willow Valleys. It is on the list of ...

October 24, 2018
Enjoy various cacti, flowers, and animal tracks on the Bisnaga Wash

Begin the hike from the parking area and follow the wash veering to the northwest, keeping the hills on your left. Bisnaga Wash is a wide wash with gradual elevation gain, ending in a narrow ...

October 17, 2018
Bike the bayshore on Coronado's Silver Strand

The Bayshore Bikeway can be entered at the end of the parking lot at Glorietta Bay Park in Coronado. Pay attention for riders as you enter. This is the beginning of a nice 9-mile ride ...

October 10, 2018
Step back in time on the Kelly Trail in Carlsbad

The land that is now Carlsbad was once home to Kumeyaay people, perhaps for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Spanish priests and their accompanying soldiers displaced the Kumeyaay by the late 18th century, and ...

October 3, 2018
Hidden and well-known treasures of Balboa Park

Hidden and well-known treasures of Balboa Park

September 26, 2018
A fitness routine surrounded by natural sights and sounds

A fitness routine surrounded by natural sights and sounds

September 19, 2018
Follow part of the early stagecoach line between Poway and Escondido

Follow part of the early stagecoach line between Poway and Escondido

September 5, 2018
An unassuming cemetery in Mission Hills

An unassuming cemetery in Mission Hills

August 29, 2018
Hosp's loss, Carlsbad's gain

The many eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus globulus) growing in this part of Carlsbad were originally planted by F.W. Hosp, an Oceanside nurseryman, who hoped to use the wood for railroad ties, bridges, and trestles. Hosp and ...

August 22, 2018
Trans-County—South Poway Trail

The South Poway Trail is part of San Diego’s 110-mile Trans-County Trail, currently incomplete, that will eventually extend from the Anza Borrego Desert State Park to the Pacific Ocean near Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. ...

August 15, 2018
Morrison Pond

Once the site of a sand and gravel quarry, Morrison Pond is now a partially-secluded spot within the Sweetwater Regional Summit Park that is great for nature watching. It is an open preserve with multiple ...

August 1, 2018
Stonebridge Trail: San Elijo Lagoon

The San Elijo Ecological Reserve protects one of the largest remaining wetlands in Southern California as well as the bordering hills containing dense stands of maritime chaparral and coastal sage scrub. The Stonebridge Trail takes ...

July 25, 2018
Rolando Village Catwalks (East County)

La Mesa and adjacent Rolando Village stand out as one of the few areas in the county that offer a system of public walkways and stairways. Probably best known are the “Secret Stairs” of Mt. ...

July 18, 2018
Champagne Pass Viewpoint—Pine Mountain Loop

This is a moderate hike that offers little shade on its way to the top of Champagne Pass (~5500’) where the views are magnificent. This trail can be taken year-round, with blooming wildflowers in the ...

July 11, 2018
La Mesa’s secret stairs to peak of Mount Nebo

For those looking for stair stepping exercise in San Diego County, there are actually several options for a cardio workout: The San Diego Convention Center has about 100 steps; the “Catwalks” of Rolando Village are ...

July 3, 2018
Del Mar Mesa Preserve

The Del Mar Mesa is a flat, chaparral-covered plateau, with an average elevation of 400 feet above sea level. Canyons drain south from the plateau into Los Peñasquitos Creek and northwest into Deer Creek, then ...

June 27, 2018
A stroll through the City of Trails

Poway is a “city of trails” with some of the most popular hiking trails in coastal San Diego, especially those to Iron Mountain and Mt. Woodson. However, it has many other trails, mostly used by ...

June 20, 2018
A wild but happening place

Annie’s Canyon Trail goes through a variety of habitats, including riparian forest, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and salt water marsh. It also has an amazing slot canyon. There are outstanding views of the ocean, lagoon, ...

June 13, 2018
Adventures above De Anza

If you are someone who enjoys a little adventure through a bouldery desert landscape with few other people and you’re up for a bit of a navigational challenge, then this hike just may fit the ...

June 6, 2018
An adventure in geology

A couple of very good slot canyons make for an interesting add-on to the impressive geology hike at the upper portion of this canyon. The Roam-O-Rama write up “The pull-apart basin” from 11/22/17 describes the ...

May 30, 2018
Dome on the range

The Coyote Mountains are part of a larger area known as the Colorado region of the Sonoran Desert. Here two plates meet, the Pacific Plate to the west and the North American Plate to the ...

May 23, 2018
Rough beauty on Ocotillo Ridge

Three geothermal natural springs once flowed freely from the northern face of the Tierra Blanca Mountains, creating a desert oasis that was known to the Kumeyaay people. The abundant water now fills swimming pools and ...

May 16, 2018
The Canyoneers walk two cleaned-up canyons

Manzanita and Hollywood Canyons demonstrate the ability of nature to thrive in disturbed areas and neighborhoods. Not only are these canyons necessary habitats for native flora and fauna, they also act as windows into San ...

May 9, 2018
There are more than 30 palms at 17 Palms Oasis

Seventeen Palms Oasis is one of the popular places to visit in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It has been a desert watering stop for over 100 years. A good way to experience early desert travel ...

May 2, 2018
It's called Goat Peak for a reason

Nestled into a quiet neighborhood at the eastern fringes of Poway is a hiking trail that goes through the riparian habitat of Poway Creek, rises steeply up into chaparral slopes, and culminates at a panoramic ...

April 25, 2018
A biological and geological wonder awaits

The San Elijo Ecological Reserve protects one of the largest remaining wetlands in Southern California, as well as the bordering hills containing beautiful stands of maritime chaparral and coastal sage scrub. The La Orilla Trail ...

April 18, 2018
Morse's marvelous meeting place

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens was designed and largely constructed by the environmental artist and contractor Bryan Morse, as well as by a host of dedicated volunteers. It is a work in progress and completely dependent ...

April 11, 2018
Lost meaning in Smugglers Canyon

After parking at the Pictograph Trail trailhead, begin your hike by heading east up the well-marked Pictograph Trail. Be sure to take a moment to read the informational kiosk so you understand the importance and ...

April 4, 2018
Beware Heart Attack Hill

In the early 1900s, cattleman brothers Julius and Amby Harper, who had a family ranch with their father in Rattlesnake Valley in the Cuyamacas, discovered a large, gently-sloping valley in the Pinyon Mountains while looking ...

Ghost flower tricks bugs

According to former State Park Superintendent Mark Jorgensen, this canyon “is a surprise during good wildflower seasons and holds many species of blooming plants in its shady confines.” It is the canyon commonly recommended for ...

March 21, 2018
Don't even think about hiking there

The Ridgeline Trail is a highly scenic trail through native chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat. It has inspiring views of the Batiquitos Lagoon and the Pacific beyond as it takes you along a ridge ...

March 14, 2018
Easy trail near a tough golf course in Carlsbad

The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Course was designed by Greg Nash with the preservation of habitat and the city’s trail system being an important consideration in creating a challenging course. The holes for this city-owned ...

March 7, 2018
Elsinore Fault Zone’s tectonic forces in play

Sweeney Wash and Canyon is located in the Elsinore Fault Zone. Look forward to viewing twisted and turned pegmatite dikes along this hike that reflect Cretaceous tectonic forces in play. The wash may be part ...

Kit Carson Park: where organized activities meet open space

Something for everyone in Escondido (especially on weekends and holidays).

February 21, 2018
Three short hikes in high part of Anza Borrego

At an elevation of 3400 feet, Culp Valley not only provides relief from scorching desert temperatures in the months when it is too hot to hike at lower elevations in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, but ...

All this for roofing granules, poultry grit

The main feature of this hike is the mine and its ruins, which is interesting to explore. It is a prime example of an open-pit strip mine (now closed off). The owners, Fred Elliott, Mrs. ...

Up close to vernal pools

The Coastal Rail Trail is projected to become a continuous path following the Coaster commuter train line from Oceanside to San Diego. As of 2017, only discontinuous segments exist. The Water’s End Trail in Carlsbad ...

January 31, 2018
How the least tern was rescued at Batiquitos Lagoon

The North Bluff Trail is on a coastal plateau at an elevation of 60 to 100 feet above sea level, overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon. The plateau once was almost entirely covered by coastal sage scrub ...

January 24, 2018

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