One of the major goals of the San Dieguito River Park is to establish a continuous open space corridor throughout the length of the Park that preserves natural habitats, protects linkages for wildlife movement, and provides compatible areas for recreational opportunities.

In This Issue
Lagoon Trail Hike
Lagoon Trail Maintenance
Summer Evening Stroll
Sikes New Hours
Sikes Docent Training
Lagoon Days Annual Event
Adconion Event
David O'Connor
Trail of the Month
Taylor Likins


Here is a link to the San Dieguito River Park Activity Calendar.     


Located at the Sikes Adobe (see directions to the Sunset Staging area in the left column).

Every Sunday:
10:30am ~ 3:30pm
(except if Easter, 4th of July, or Christmas).
Quick Links...

Connect with Us!

SDRP website

Bernardo Bay Natural/Staging Area: (for access to East and South Lake Hodges Trails and the Ribbon Bridge)
Take I-15 to the West Bernardo Dr./Pomerado Rd. exit. Turn left onto West Bernardo Dr.  Within a half mile, you will come to the parking area on the right side of the road. (click here for a map).

Del Dios Gorge/
Santa Fe Valley Staging Area:
On Del Dios Highway, across the street from the Cielo Shopping Center, is the Lemon Twist Stand.  The road to the staging area is within the Lemon Twist pullout, immediately south and west of the Lemon Twist stand. (click here for a map).

Dust Devil Nature Trail

Staging Area:

From Del Mar Heights Road go north on El Camino Real.  The staging area will be at the edge of the San Dieguito Lagoon on your left.  You will continue past the staging area, making a U-turn at San Dieguito Road, then driving south on El Camino Real to the staging area (click here for a map). 


Highland Valley Trail Staging Area:

From I-15 head east on Pomerado Road about 1/4 mile.  Turn left onto Highland Valley Drive. Within about 300 feet, turn right into the parking area. (click here for a map).  


Old Coach Trail Staging Area:
From I-15 head east on Pomerado Road.  After about 1/4 mile, turn left onto Highland Valley Drive.  Drive 2.3 miles.  The Staging Area will be on your right.  12460 Highland Valley Road, San Diego. (click here for a map). 


San Andres Interpretive Kiosk: (for east end Lagoon Trail access)  End of San Andres Drive in Del Mar, off Via de la Valle, behind the Albertsons Shopping Center. (click here for a map).  


Ramona Grasslands Staging Area:

From I-15 head east on Pomerado Road.  After about 1/4 mile, turn left onto Highland Valley Road.  Drive approximately 10.5 miles up Highland Valley Road to the Ramona Grasslands.  You will see the staging area and trail head on the north side of the road (click here for a map).  


Sunset Staging Area:

(access for Ribbon Bridge, Sikes Adobe, Mule Hill Trail, North Shore Trail, Bernardo Mountain)  

Begin North Shore Trail and Mule Hill Trail here.   

Directions: Take I-15 to Via Rancho Parkway exit, and at the exit ramp turn right at the light.  Go to the light at Sunset Drive (less than a 1/4 mile) and turn right onto Sunset Drive. North County Fair Mall is on the left side of the road.  This is a cul-de-sac with plenty of parking in the gated staging/parking area on the left side of the street or along the street and in the lot at the end of the cul-de-sac. (click here for a map).
from the links below:


Enjoy the San Dieguito Lagoon
 Saturday, August 11, 2012
Time:  9:00am - 10:15am
Location:  San Andres Dr. Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column).

This walk will be led by a Park Ranger along the San Dieguito Lagoon. This trail offers beautiful views of the lagoon and wildlife that inhabit the area. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project, plant /wildlife identification, and updates on current Ranger projects. 

Lagoon Trail Maintenance
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Time:  8:00am - 11:00am
Location:  San Andres Dr. Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column).

Join Park Rangers for this trail maintenance event. Work on trimming the trail corridor on the Lagoon Trail between the Boardwalk and I-5! Please bring drinking water, sun protection and wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Please RSVP to or (858) 674-2275 x14

Lagoon Summer Stroll
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Time:  4:00pm - 7:00pm
Location:  San Andres Dr. Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column).

The San Dieguito River Park, San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, SDG&E, REI and Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley invite you to Summer Evening Stroll. Come out to walk the trail, enjoy our many informative booths, use our new Park smart phone app, celebrate the grand opening of our bilingual interpretive walk, the new mile marker signs, and the entry monument grand opening!  

Gather at the San Dieguito Lagoon trailhead. There will be many free give-aways. Then as a group, we will stroll a 3-mile circuit with the Interpretive Ranger and Spanish translator for a guided hike of the Lagoon. We will stop at the 1-mile marker dedication, then continue to the entry monument at Jimmy Durante Blvd. From there you can walk to the Ben Harper concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds or walk back and try out the new self-guided interpretive walk using your smart phone or booklets.  Hope to see you there! For more information contact Interpretive ranger Leana Bulay at or (858) 674-2275 x14

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Regular hours, which are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, will resume after Labor Day.  Also By appointment by contacting 760-432-8318  or

Become a Sikes Docent
  September 8 and 15
Time:  10:00am - 2:00pm
Where:  Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead (see directions in left column).

Share your love of history and the past.  The Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead is offering Docent Training two Saturdays in September.  All materials will be provided.  Please bring your own lunch. 

To sign up, please contact Museum Manager Anne Cooper at 760-432-8318  or

Lagoon Day was a Big Hit!
This June, 600 Del Mar third-grade students visited the San Dieguito Lagoon with six different science-based stations. The stations included USGS water quality, lagoon restoration efforts, field journaling, nature art, bird and butterfly identification and seed balls.

Lagoon Day was started over 10 years ago with collaboration between the City of Del Mar's Lagoon Committee and Del Mar Hills School.  It was started to coincide with the City of Del Mar's Lagoon Day. It was later expanded to include all of the schools in the Del Mar Unified School District.  Years later, SDG&E offered the funds to transport the students to the lagoon.

The program was designed for third grade students to support the animal/plant adaptations and the different biomes section of the State of California Science Standards. This experience gives students a unique opportunity to participate in hands on activities to better understand and appreciate the critical importance of the San Dieguito Lagoon.

Adconion Employees 'Crush the Brush'
On June 21st, the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and San Dieguito River Park joined together for a massive coast clean-up at the upper lagoon pond.  The Adconion Volunteer Event had about 100 Adconion employees "crushing the brush" and removing a huge patch of invasives and filling a 40-yarder dumpster.

Many thanks to Adconion and all their hard work clearing this area, to Olive PR for putting it all together, to Black Sage Environmental and to USFWS Coastal Program for making it all happen.

Dave O'Connor, SDRVC Conservation Manager
David O'Connor is the new Conservation Manager for the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy.  Although born in the northeast, David grew up in rural Ireland, where his passion for nature was forged. David received his B.S. in Zoology from University College Cork, Ireland. Upon graduation, he returned to America working for several conservation and related organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Whole Foods Market, and National Geographic Magazine.

David brings a wealth of diverse international experience to the Conservancy, having conducted research in habitats worldwide. He most recently studied the feeding habits of giraffe and domestic camels in Kenya, as part of his MS in Conservation Biology at the University of Michigan. Like the rest of us, David feels happiest outdoors with the creatures and people he loves, enjoying hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, and of course, surfing.
by Cindy O'Grady

Rattlesnake Observation Platform in Del Dios Gorge
Type of Trail: 
Out and Back
Use:  Hikers, Bikers, Equestrians
Difficulty:  Easy/Moderate
Features:  Del Dios Gorge, Rattlesnake Viewing Platform, Lake Hodges Dam
Interpretive:  Some
Length:  4 miles round trip
Map:  Click here
Trail Manager:  San Dieguito River Park:  858-674-2270

Looking to add to your list of easily accessible, yet uncrowded spots to explore in North County? On a recent Sunday morning, I had the Del Dios section of the Coast-to-Crest Trail pretty much to myself.

It's understandable how it happens. High speeds along the highway make the trail signs easy to miss. The main staging area is at the west end, down behind the Lemon Twist produce stand. From here you'll embark on a well-marked and maintained path ascending to a great view through the Gorge, and down to the San Dieguito River.  Once you've descended and crossed the 180-foot truss bridge, you'll see several interpretive signs describing the wildlife and history of the area. One little known story of particular interest is that of the Hodges Flume, constructed in 1918 by the San Dieguito Mutual Water Company to connect Lake Hodges to the San Dieguito Reservoir. Parts of it are still visible across the road.

If you're with children, this is a great teaching opportunity on our local water issues. You might explain how the lack of natural water in Southern California necessitates the use of canals, reservoirs and dams, or point out the contrast between the dry hillsides and the green of the riverbed. Another visible history lesson is the evidence of the 2007 Witch Creek fires in the form of still-blackened trees.
At the turnaround point of the 2 mile hike, you are rewarded with an up-close-and-personal view of Hodges Dam from the "Rattlesnake" observation deck. In the center of the platform, you can look through a pipe scope toward a particular sight, the spillway, the bulwarks of the dam, and the river below. It's a half-day escape you can fit in any day of the week!
Volunteer Voice

Taylor Likins has a passion for the environment
Taylor Likins graduated with a B.S. in Biological Sciences (Ecology) from California State University San Marcos in 2011. Taylor was born and raised in Encinitas and has had a passion for the environment and wildlife for as long as she can remember.

Being the daughter of a botanist, she felt that SDRP was a perfect fit. Taylor is a volunteer/intern that began work on analyzing data for the park rangers. She continued to help out at the park and joined the Dust Devil brigade. She also helps the SDRP with creating interpretive panels and walk booklets and often volunteers to run the tables at the many events the SDRP hosts.

Taylor is working with another volunteer, Elayna Bryant, on a project focusing on how the different methods of planting native plants affects the plants growth. They are working together and taking measurements every month to try and determine the best planting method. Taylor has enjoyed her time as a volunteer/intern. She has seen how her studies have applied to real world scenarios and looks forward to working with all the rangers on future volunteer projects.

Taylor recently accompanied some of the rangers and a few other volunteers to the Santa Ysabel Gorge Property and the three lakes. "One of the highlights of being a volunteer was helping the rangers with the bullfrog population reduction at the three lakes. Working with the SDRP rangers and the other volunteers is always so fun. I am so proud to say that I volunteer at the SDRP because of the wonderful team that surrounds everyone."
All of us in the San Dieguito River Park office are working hard to improve your Park and to make it available to you for recreation and education.  Please feel free to contact me with Riverscape comments or requests.
Leana@ or (858) 674-2275 x14.

Interpretive Ranger and Riverscape Editor, Leana Bulay.