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
Volcan Summit
San Dieguito Lagoon
Trail Maintenance
Scavenger Hunt
All About Julian
Crest Canyon Trail
High Altitude Run
Scavenger Hunt
Sike Homecoming
World Ranger Day
Citizen Science Update
Hike Night
Lake Hodges Fire
Volunteer Voice


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)


Dog Beach: 
Dog Beach is
located to the west of Highway 101, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, between the communities of Solana Beach and Del Mar.  As in any coast city, parking is a challenge near the beach.  Metered parking on Highway 101 exists and may be available.   

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. 




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.

 (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)


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



The Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West Trailhead and Staging Area are located on Highway 78, 1.3 miles west of Santa Ysabel, on the north side of the road.  Lots of parking.  Porta Potty.    


SYOSP East-West:

The Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East -West Trailhead is located on Highway 79 just south of Mission Santa Ysabel and 1.3 miles north of the town of Santa Ysabel.  Another way to describe this would be to stay on Highway 79, 1.3 miles north of the Highway 78/79 intersection in Santa Ysabel. You will park on the shoulder of the road, on the east side of Highway 79. 


SYOSP East-East:

The Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East -East Trailhead is located on Farmer Road, 1.25 miles north of the Farmer Road - Wynola Road intersection.  You will pass the Volcan Mountain Preserve parking area immediately after turning onto Farmer Road.  The SYOSP East Farmer Road Trailhead is 1.25 miles further, on the left. 

(click here for a map


Ysabel Creek Staging Area:

(for access to the middle of the San Pasqual Valley Trail system)  

I-15 North towards Escondido, exit Pomerado Rd/West Rancho Bernardo Road. Take Pomerado Dr. East.  After 1/4 mile, turn left from Pomerado onto Highland Valley Road, continue on Highland Valley Road for 4 miles, take left on Bandy Canyon Road to Ysabel Creek Road. Trailhead is on the corner.
from the links below:

Date:  Sunday, August 4, 2013
Time:  7:00am
Location:  Hubbell Gateway at Volcan Mountain Preserve off of Farmer Road in Julian.  Park on shoulder on Farmer Road.  Click here for a trailhead map.

Join SDRVC Conservation Manager David O'Connor for a strenuous 5 mile, out-and-back hike to the summit.
Ranger-Led Walk

Date:  Saturday, August 10, 2013
Time:  9:00am -10:30am
Location:  San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in the left column)
Join a SDRP Park Ranger for an easy, family-friendly, 2 mile out-and-back walk to learn about the lagoon.
Date:  Sunday, August 11, 2013
Time:  8:00am - 11:00am
Location:  Del Dios Community Park.  Click here for a map to the parking area.

Join a SDRP Park Ranger for a volunteer trail maintenance event.  Tools, gloves, water, and training provided.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.
Date:  Sunday, August 11, 2013
Time:  10:00am
Location:  Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West (see directions in the left column)

Join San Diego County Park Staff for a Children's Nature Scavenger Hunt.  Meet at the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West Staging Area.
Date:  Saturday, August 17, 2013
Time: 10:00am
Location:  Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East - Farmer Road Trailhead and Staging Area (see directions in left column)

Join San Diego County Park Staff for the "All About Julian!" program.  Meet at the amphitheater at the Farmer Road Staging Area in Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East.
Ranger-Led Hike
Date:  Sunday, August 18, 2013
Time:  9:00am - 10:30am
Location:  Crest Canyon North Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column)

Escape the summer heat.  Join a SDRP Park Ranger for an easy hike at the coast on the 2.3 mile Crest Canyon Loop. 
Date:  Sunday, August 25, 2013
Time:  6:30am
Location:  Meet at the Highway 79 Trailhead and car shuttle to the Farmer Road Staging Area at Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East. Click for Highway 79 Trailhead map.

Join SDRVC Conservation Manager David O'Connor for a high altitude through run.  This is a strenuous 10-mile point-to-point run.
Date:  Saturday, August 31, 2013
Time: 10:00am
Location:  Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East - Farmer Road Trailhead and Staging Area (see directions in left column)

Join San Diego County Park Staff for a Children's Nature Scavenger Hunt.  Meet at the amphitheater at the Farmer Road Staging Area in Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East.
Date:  Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27, 2013
Location:  Historic Sikes Adobe (see directions in left column)

On Saturday, October 26, the "Friends of Sikes Adobe" and  Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead will host descendants and family members who have, over the years, called the farmhouse home.  This event is by invitation only and provides the opportunity to share history and view the house with those who lived there.

On Sunday, October 27, activities are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and will include harvest crafts, "spooky science," pumpkin carving, and fun! 

For information, please contact Anne P. Cooper at or call 619-884-1170. 
World Ranger Day was observed on July 31. The River Park would like to thank all rangers who serve to protect our planets most valuable resources...our Parks.  Below is a letter from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

It is my great honour to acknowledge the brave and tireless work of the world's Park Rangers on the frontline of conservation on the occasion of World Ranger Day.

I am aware from personal experience just how important the work of Park Rangers is: to protect landscapes and species from poaching and illegal logging and forest clearing, to spot bushfires and the early signs of disease, and to encourage visitors to explore some of the world's stunning areas.  Without you, the world would be a very different place.

Many Park Rangers risk and sometimes lose their lives in their brave efforts to protect our world's most special and endangered places and animals.  In fact, over 1000 Park Rangers have paid the ultimate price during the last 10 years.  The staggering sacrifice that you and your colleagues have paid underlines just how dangerous - and how critical - your work is.  You are the frontline, the green line of the planet's critical conservation battle.

I have been pleased to learn about the work of the International Ranger Federation and the work of charities such as the Thin Green Line to celebrate all you do and to support you and your families and communities.  On this World Ranger Day, please know that my thoughts are with you, and that I, along with so many others, are in awe of your selfless, brave work - you have my total admiration.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
by SDRP Intern Sarah Nichols 
The Citizen Science Species Monitoring Program is being designed to involve the local community to be hands on with the study of their local environment with a scientific approach.  The goal of this program is to spark interest in community members to learn about our environment and the scientific methods behind monitoring and to create awareness on how we influence the local ecosystems.  The primary question we are examining is:  What effects do trails and roads have on our ecosystems?  We will look at this through studying vegetation, animals, birds, and insects.

One of the main challenges that we and all scientists face when creating long term experiments such as this is how much planning and research goes into our methods.  What may seem like simple field work actually took many hours of reading and preparation to assure that our methods are accurate, concise, and adequate for future data analysis.  Since the River Park is so large, this gives us many options and has made the process long.  By this fall, not only will our methods be complete, but we will begin scoping out our research sites in coastal sage scrub habitats.  In the end, the more interest and help we receive from our community members will assure the success of the program, and will allow us to collect enough data to analyze our impact on the local environment. 
by Ranger Bryan Ward
Last month, 20 people joined me for a sunset and moonlight hike to the summit of Bernardo Mountain.  This was the largest group I have led on a hike, and it was awesome seeing the huge crowd excited for the hike to start. 

We set off from the Bernardo Bay Natural Area, crossed the David Kreitzer Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge and Felicita Creek, and started the climb up the Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail.  The native vegetation on the north slopes of the mountain has recovered nicely since the 2007 wildfires.  We made it to the summit just in time to watch the sunset to the west, and a couple minutes later the full moon rose to the east.  The 360 degree view was amazing, and it was great that the sky was clear. 

On the way down, we saw a red diamond rattlesnake and a tarantula!  It was a fun time, and I plan on leading another night hike in the future.
There was a brush fire at Lake Hodges along the Coast to Crest Trail east of the Boat Dock parking area on Thursday, July 25.  It started around 4:30pm and burned 28 acres.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.  No trail assets or homes were burned.  There was a large response to the fire:  two helicopters, two air tankers, several police and sheriff vehicles, and all the local fire stations including CalFire. 
by Sarah Nichols, SDRP Intern 
Sarah is currently attending California State University, San Marcos as an undergraduate student majoring in Biological sciences with a focus in ecology.  She plans on attending graduate school after she graduates with her B.S. this next spring 2014.  Growing up, she has always had a passion for science and natural history, and plans to one day go into evolutionary biology and ecological research.  

At school, Sarah actively attends the Ecology club and will be taking over as president this upcoming school year.  She has also just finished undergraduate research looking into the effects of added nitrogen deposition on plant anatomy of Southern Californian Mediterranean-type shrublands, working closely with her professor, Dr. George Vourlitis.

Since becoming an intern for the San Dieguito River Park in February 2013, Sarah has volunteered at many events with the River Park by helping out at the tables and working with the Park Rangers.  She primarily works with fellow intern, Elayna Flanders, in researching and setting up the Citizen Science "Species Monitoring Program" that the River Park will be hosting for local communities.  She hopes to gather from this internship real life experience working in the ecology field, as well as meet professionals who can share their wisdom.

"I love nature and being outdoors, so when the opportunity for this internship came along, I knew I couldn't pass it up.  In hind-sight, I couldn't be happier.  Seeing what the rangers do for the park and their passion for preserving the environment, it's fantastic and inspiring.  I can only hope that any project I help them with will be beneficial for the future of the River Park and the surrounding ecosystems."

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. or (858) 674-2275 x14. 

Interpretive Ranger and Riverscape Editor, Leana Bulay.