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Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego

Categories: State Parks, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is an urban park in San Diego, California. Stretching approximately 7mi, the park encompasses some 4000acre of both Peñasquitos and Lopez canyons, and is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The preserve is jointly owned and administered by the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego. Operated by the County of San Diego, the home has been restored and tours are available for the public.Natural historyMore than 500 plant species, more than 175 types of birds, and a great variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals make up the rich bio-diversity of the park. Many of these species are rare or endangered. Los Peñasquitos is also home to the historic Rancho Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos, an adobe home built in the early 1820s.The geology of the Preserve area has been described by Northrup. Nearby is the Torrey Pines State Reserve, where one of only two extant stands of the endangered Torrey Pine is found.Further reading C.Michael Hogan (2008) Torrey Pine: Pinus torreyana, Globaltwitcher, ed. Nicklas Stromberg John Northrop. 1988. Geology of Los Peñasquitos Canyon, 40 pages
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  • You have a choice of a number of different trails within the canyon. You can also park in the community park at the North end of Camino Ruiz in Mira Mesa, and hike down into the canyon. The trails are...  read more »
  • A great local hike that crosses a nice stream several times. You can get off the main road and take the less traveled trails that go in and out of the oak trees and over the stream with a great water ...  read more »
  • We went there yesterday and had a great time. Parked at the main enteance and took the South Trail instead of staying on the main dirt road. If you go take either the north or south trail they take yo...  read more »
  • Goto fast and relatively flat trail run. 12 miles round trip from trailhead to trailhead. I prefer the South trails personally but you can make the complete loop if you prefer (other side of river). Wildlife, rocks, heat, a small waterfall, not bad for being so centrally located.
  • Very fun hiking and biking trails. Fun river crossings all along the main trail and even a little waterfall to hang out at. Good for people with dogs, just bring lots of water!
  • Great spot for hiking. Brought the mountain bike out here and it was the first trail in San Diego that made me wish I had full suspension. Lot's of patches that were golf ball sized gravel.
  • An island of desert in the city. I used to go for hikes here at least twice a week. Nice section of wildness in the city that is very accessible.
  • A great park to hike, or mountain bike. There are historic points to stop at within the preserve, and a nice little stream and fall to stop and rest at.
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