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 Walk
Hawk Watch
Sikes Valentines Day
Trail Maintenance
Sikes Habitat Restoration
Lagoon Bird Walk
Kumeyaay Talk
Children's Nature Program
UCSD Alumni
Sikes Wedding
Trail of the Month
Kenneth & Angie Rice


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).

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).

Crest Canyon: 
At the San Dieguito Lagoon, turn south from Jimmy Durante onto San Dieguito Dr., which will morph into Racetrack View Drive.  Crest Canyon is about 2/3 miles south from Jimmy Durante Blvd.

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).  


Highland Valley - 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 Drive 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)     

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 a Ranger-led hike on the Lagoon Trail.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Time:  9:00am - 10:15am
Location:  Meet at the San Andreas Drive Information 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 the wildlife that inhabit the area.  Topics will include the lagoon restoration project, plant wildlife identification and updates on current Ranger projects.
Hawk Watch - a must see family event!
Saturdays, February 9, 16, and 23, 2013
Time:  9:00am
Location:  Wildlife Research     Institute
18030 Highland Valley Road
Ramona, CA  92065

Come observe both wintering and resident raptors of the Ramona Grasslands.  Nineteen species of raptors have been reported at this Raptor hotspot.  For more information visit their website.
Enjoy Valentines Tea at the Sikes Adobe.
Sundays, February 10, 17, and 24, 2013
Time:  Noon - 3:00pm
Location:  Sikes Adobe (see directions in left column)

Tea for Two or Tea for YOU!  Celebrate Valentine's Day at the Sikes Adobe.  A steaming cup of hot tea and a delicious plate of sweets and sandwiches await YOU...$5.00 and includes a tour of the farmhouse.  Reservations via email to  Please specify which Sunday, number in your party, and arrival time.  Walk-ins also accepted, but you may have to wait!  All proceeds benefit the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.
Tools provided!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Time:  8:00am - 11:00am
Location:  Highland Valley - Old Coach Staging Area (see directions in left column)

Join a Park Ranger for this month's volunteer trail maintenance event. Work on clearing brush from trail and improving trail conditions! Please bring drinking water, sun protection, and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes.  Please RSVP to or (858) 674-2275 x14.
The Sikes Adobe appreciates volunteers.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Time:  8:00am - 11:00am
Location:  Sikes Adobe (see directions in left column)

The event will consist of planting native plants, removing invasive plants to protect wildlife habitat, and maintaining new restoration areas.  Tools, training and work gloves provided!  Please bring drinking water, sun protection and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes.  Please RSVP to or (858) 674-2275x14.
You'll see one of these...guaranteed!
  Saturday, February 16, 2013
Time:  8:00am - 10:00am
Location:  San Andreas Information Kiosk (see directions in left column)

Join John Haddock, a member of the Buena Vista Audubon, to discover birds of the San Dieguito Lagoon to learn more about the local ecosystem.
Hands-on displays!
  Sunday, February 17, 2013
Time:  1:00pm - 2:00pm
Location:  Santa Ysabel General Store and Backcountry Interpretive Center

Come hear an informative and fun discussion on the rich, cultural heritage of local Native Americans by Judy Alvarez, a recent San Diego State University graduate in Anthropology with a minor in American Indian Studies. 

After the presentation, Judy will have available "hands-on" items used for hunting, gathering, games, clothing, music, as well as ceremonial and medicinal plants.  She is currently on the training teams that prepare Canyoneers (natural history hike leaders) for the San Diego Museum of Natural History and trail guides at Mission Trail Regional Park.  Judy is also a former California State Parks Archaeological Site Steward in the Anza Borrego Desert. 
Inquisitive minds want to know...
  Sunday, February 17, 2013
Time:  Noon - 12:45pm
Location:  Santa Ysabel General Store and Backcountry Interpretive Center

This program is designed for children 6 to 12 years of age. Spend time with the San Dieguito River Park Interpretive Ranger for several hands on activities to better understand and appreciate the local environment.  For more information contact Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay at or (760) 716-1214.
by Ginni Kitchen
The San Dieguito River Park appreciates Teradata.
Teradata Corporation sells data warehouses and analytic applications, which consolidate data from different sources and make it available for analysis. Teradata is headquartered in Ohio, and I work in the Rancho Bernardo office.  Teradata encourages employees to volunteer and supports our efforts.  Dozens of Teradata employees showed up for a 2012 Earth Day event at the San Dieguito Lagoon, planting, weeding, mulching, picking up trash, and doing anything else the rangers wanted us to do.

Employees are given two four-hour blocks of paid time off each quarter to volunteer, so coworkers and I join the Dust Devils one Friday morning every other month.  In addition, a Teradata "Dollars for Doers" program provides a $250 grant after an employee has performed 50 hours of volunteer work with an organization.  The San Dieguito River Park received $750 from this program in 2012.

Teradata's "Community Service Grants" provide funds for volunteer projects performed by teams of five or more Teradata employees (with family and friends welcome to help).  SDRP received a $500 check from Teradata for the purchase of native plants.  Teradata also matches donations to approved non-profits up to $500/year for each employee.  And most recently, the Rancho Bernardo office won the Teradata Cares Office of the Year for 2012 award for our volunteer work, including a $1000 grant for SDRP!
by Park Intern Elayna Bryant
UCSD Alumni hard at work!
This month the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Alumni Association showed their support by setting up a restoration event.  Our rangers Bryan Ward and Dante Lee, also UCSD Alumni, were thrilled to have their fellow colleagues out to lend a hand restoring the native habitat. 

The group met at the lagoon off San Andres Drive to remove invasive weeds and plant native species.  This restoration project took place in the habitat surrounding the treatment ponds.  Urban runoff from surrounding areas is naturally filtered through a series of four treatment ponds before entering into the lagoon's salt-water marsh habitat.  UCSD Alumni were first instructed to plant alongside the eastern slope of treatment pond four.  Plants used to revegetate the area include salty Susan, monkey flower, lemonade berry, sea dahlia, buckwheat, coyote bush, and San Diego sunflower.  This group exhibited excellent teamwork and were finished planting in no time at all! 

UCSD Alumni were then directed to the northern slope of treatment pond two.  The boarder of this pond is surrounded by a shopping center resulting in trash spilling over into the reserve.  This area is also highly susceptible to non-native plant propagation.  The group collected trash and remove dried weeds (tumbleweed, mustard, smother weed) from the area.  We were happy to see this group so excited to lend a hand and learn about the restoration site.  We are always looking to build new connections with groups interested in preserving this beautiful natural resource.  We look forward to having the UCSD Alumni at future events.
by David O'Connor, SDRVC Conservation Manager  
1,000 Trees Were Planted!
How do you plant 1,000 native trees in a few hours in a rocky gorge of our San Dieguito River? Partner with Takeda California and its amazing employees!  Done and dusted.

We are eternally grateful to Takeda California, a San Diego pharmaceutical company, for partnering with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. Takeda funded the purchase of 1,000 native riparian trees (willows, sycamores, cottonwoods and live oaks) to be planted in a section of the Del Dios restoration site. Over the past two years, we have been removing hundreds of invasive, habitat-eliminating and fire-prone eucalyptus trees (and other harmful invasives such as Arundo) from Del Dios gorge. Takeda's native trees were planted in the most degraded section of the restoration site and will be invaluable in reviving the native ecosystem there.

As an added bonus, on Martin Luther King Day over 140 Takeda employees and their families gave up their free time and actually planted the trees.  It was great fun, the weather was kind, and the coffee, bagels, and treats were flowing to power the planters. Rangers Bryan and Leana along with River Park volunteers Peter, Elayna and Carol lead guided hikes and mentored the planters.  At the end of it all, the native trees were settled, watered, and ready to start growing while the rest of us basked in the glory of a job well done.  Next time you're on the Del Dios Trail, keep an eye out for these new native trees... all made possible by Takeda.

Huge thanks to Takeda California and Olive PR and to all the volunteers.  The Del Dios restoration project is funded by State of California Resources Agency - River Parkways grant.
The first wedding at Sikes in more than a Century!
Saturday, January 5th, marked the date of the first wedding to be held at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead in over a century!  Everyone said that the remarkably fine weather that day signified a good omen for the ceremony held to unite bride and groom.  Though clear, the weather was seasonably brisk as guests gathered for the wedding held at 3:00 p.m. 

The bride and groom utilized the site beautifully, taking full advantage of both the architecture and the grounds.  The ceremony began with the entrance of the wedding party from the west side of the farmhouse led by the groom and his parents then followed by bridesmaids.  Music was provided by a sound system, giving the couple and their guests a choice of tunes heard by all.  The bride then made her entrance on her father's arm; at which time guests aligned in chairs facing the south porch, and on straw bales covered with quilts along the south picket fence, stood.
After the ceremony, held on the south porch steps with the pastor at the top overlooking the families' guests, everyone was invited to circulate around to the east side of the farmhouse where a reception was held.

It was a lovely party, and we feel sure that the Sikes family would have been pleased to have their home witness such joy again!
by Cindy O'Grady   
Crest Canyon - for the whole family.
If you've ever hiked Torrey Pines State Park, you'll recognize Crest Canyon as a miniature version of its relative to the south. Similarities in vegetation and topography abound, from the rare Torrey pines to the ring of red and gold sandstone bluffs capping the canyon rim.

There are two trailheads into the park.  The north entrance on Racetrack View Drive is the better choice for a group ranging in hiking ability, beginning with an easy stroll before a gradual ascent of 400 feet over the length of the mile-long trail.  The south end consists of a steep vertical climb, made vastly easier via the stairs constructed and maintained by the Park's dedicated Dust Devils volunteers.

Though tiny, several features of this park make it worth a visit.  I dropped in from the south entrance off Del Mar Heights Road, and was struck by how quickly I felt embraced by nature just a few steps down into the canyon, where the sound of the nearby freeway fades to a distant whisper.  The change in vegetation is also remarkable, transitioning from chaparral to coastal sage near the lagoon.
Lastly, make sure to visit the lagoon viewing platform at the north trailhead.  There's something about seeing an area you've driven by a million times from a completely different angle that's very Zen. Peace!  It's there at Crest Canyon.
Volunteer Voice
Kenneth and Angie Rice

Please welcome our new Resident Volunteers at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead to the San Dieguito River Park!  Kenneth and Angie Rice moved to the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead on January 6th, and have already made some improvements to the site!  Kenneth is a volunteer fireman for the County of San Diego, and he and Angie had been Resident Volunteers at the Fallbrook Community Center for the County before moving to the Sikes property.  We are so glad to have them with us!

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.