Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

LOCATION:  Intersection of Camino del Sur & Park Village Road
PARKING: Free lot

My expectations were pretty low for a hike smack in the middle of suburbia. This was one of those times when I happily embraced my wrongness.

The 4,000 acre Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve stretches seven miles—from the Interstate 5/805 merge to just east of Interstate 15—between Rancho Peñasquitos and Sorrento Mesa.

On this particular trail, you’ll just scratch the tip of the canyon…and wander through fields, alongside rolling hills and mountains, through sycamore groves, and around and across a babbling creek. If you follow the trail just 1.75 miles from the parking lot near Peñasquitos Creek Park, you can sit atop one of several boulders listening to a rarity in San Diego’s nature scene—the sound of water cascading down from a waterfall.

This little aquatic treasure will have your heart pumping faster than most of the terrain on this part of the easy trail, so if you’re looking for a cardio workout, bring your running shoes or climb (and re-climb) those boulders near the waterfall. Oh, and there is more than one ideal place for an old-fashioned picnic here—like under those sycamore trees I mentioned.

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Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Photos
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2018-08-27T05:16:14+00:00December 16th, 2014|Categories: At Home in San Diego, Destinations, San Diego Hikes, The Great Outdoors, USA|6 Comments

About the Author:

A recovered surburbanite, mom of two and partner of one who found herself while wandering the world. Currently based in San Diego—heading to Panamá in 2020.


  1. Ken Williamson January 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Nice post, as usual! You’re a great writer…write a book!!!

  2. Jim S January 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    On MY bucket list is a hike from Bowen Ranch to Deep Creek Hot Springs about an hour drive from Palm Springs


    • janet d. January 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Sounds intriguing…I’m liking the “hot springs” thing. 🙂

  3. Ron Williamson January 15, 2014 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Great pictures Janet, think I recognize those toe shoes!!

    • janet d. January 16, 2014 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Ron…can you believe these were all taken with my iPhone? I forgot my regular camera…must have been distracted by those toe shoes. 😉 Hope all is well.

      • Ron Williamson January 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm - Reply

        All is well, keep the pictures coming…….

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