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
Scavenger Hunt
Running Club
Lagoon Hike
All About Julian!
Coast To Crest Challenge
Coastal Cleanup
Bike Swap Meet
Family Bike Ride
Belly Up Benefit
Down Home on the Farm
Ranger Felipe Franco
Nesting Season Ends
Restoration Project Tours
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, September 7
Time:  10:00am
Location:  Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West (see directions in left column)

Meet at the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West Staging Area. Hosted by San Diego County Park Staff.
Date:  Saturday, September 14
Time:  7:00am
Location:  Whole Foods Market Del Mar

Meet at Whole Foods Market Del Mar - 2600 Via de la Valle, Suite 100.

3, 7, or 10 miles.  Moderate.
Hosted by SDRVC Conservation Manager David O'Connor.
Date:  Saturday, September 14
Time:  9:00am - 10:30am
Location:  Dust Devil Nature Trail Staging Area (see directions in left column)

1.7 miles loop.  Easy.
Hosted by SDRP Park Ranger Natalie Borchardt.
Date:  Saturday, September 14
Time:  10:00am
Location:  Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East - Farmer Road Trailhead and Staging Area (see directions in left column)

Meet at the Amphitheater at the Farmer Road Staging Area of
Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East.
Hosted by San Diego County Park Staff.
Date:  Sunday, September 15
Time:  7:00am
Location:  Clevenger Canyon North Trail Head

8 miles out-and-back and up-and-down.  Strenuous.

Hosted by SDRVC Conservation Manager David O'Connor.

Date:  Saturday, September 21
Time:  9:00am - 12:00am
2 Locations:  Meet at the San Dieguito Lagoon or at Del Dios Community Park at Lake Hodges

San Dieguito Lagoon hosted by SDRP Park Rangers. 
Lake Hodges hosted by Stacy McCline.
Please register at
Date:  Saturday, September 28
Time:  7:00am - 2:00pm
Location:  Sikes Adobe Trailhead

Hosted by SDRP Park Ranger David Hekel.  Proceeds benefit the SDRP Mountain Bike Patrol and Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.
Date:  Sunday, September 29
Time:  9:00am - 10:30am
Location:  Historic Sikes Adobe Trailhead (see directions in left column)

8 miles out-and-back.  Easy.
Hosted by SDRP Park Ranger Bryan Ward.
Date:  Saturday, September 28
Time:  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location:  Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros, Solana Beach, 92075

$15 at the door or in advance.
Join the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) for live music at the Belly Up!  We've got a great line up with local acts Soul Seduction and Casey Turner.  Soul Seduction plays a variety of R&B, Classic Rock, Reggae and Pop with a Jazz feel and Dance beat.  Guitarist and singer-songwriter Casey Turner has a distinct sound that glides on a mellow vibe. 

All proceeds are in support of the San Dieguito Lagoon Open-Air Classroom, designed by award-winning Spurlock Poirier Landscape Architects and the Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects.  The Lagoon has regional ecological significance providing food and shelter for endangered wildlife and migratory birds.

For over 20 years, school classes and other groups have visited the Lagoon.  Currently, some 8 groups a month (about 100 students- elementary, high school and college-level) visit the lagoon.  By providing the classroom, this number can be expanded so that people of all ages can learn about and enjoy the lagoon habitats.

The opportunity for students to take field trips to the lagoon and to experience hands-on nature education is imperative and memorable. After all, what was your favorite field trip?  To learn more and purchase tickets, please click here.  If you have any questions, please contact the SDRVC at
Date:  Sunday, October 27
Location:  Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead (see directions in left column)

All activities are open to the public. Join us in a pumpkin harvest, pie sales, scarecrow making contest, trick or treat at the farmers market, and "spooky science" courtesy of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy.  Costumes encouraged but not required. For information, please contact Anne P. Cooper at or call 619-884-1170. 
New San Dieguito River Park Ranger
Hello there, my name is Felipe Franco, and I am a newly hired Park Ranger for San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. Before I joined the SDRP team, I worked with my father, Felipe Franco senior, in his handyman business since the beginning of my teen years. I graduated from San Ysidro High School in 2007, and continued studying at San Diego City College. I became a lifeguard for a water feature park in 2007. Then, I joined the County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department from 2007 until 2013. I started working at Heritage Park/ Whaley House Complex, next I worked at 4S Ranch Community Park/Sports Complex, and I then began working at San Dieguito Picnic Park and also at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve for special events. I also worked for Black Sage Environmental as a forestry technician/crew leader part time.
I am happy and excited to have the opportunity to join the San Dieguito River Park workforce team as a Park Ranger and look forward to seeing and meeting each and every one of you out in the field. 
by Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay
Bird nesting season is officially over on September 15th. Throughout the Park, there have been many successful breeding pairs. The San Dieguito Lagoon did have least terns that nested at the lagoon, but unfortunately none of the chicks survived to maturity.

Recently, a banded least tern was found dead. The band number indicated that it was 24 years old, which is a record for this species.  It was originally banded at Coronado in 1989. It was last seen on its nest at the Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve this June.
by Senior Ranger Natalie Borchardt
Ranger-led tours of the San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project have become very popular. Earlier in the Summer we hosted a delegate of land managers from China. And this month in partnership with the Regional Water Quality Control Board we hosted over 50 members of the Southern California Chinese American Environmental Protection Association.

The Wetland Restoration Project is a model of success, and we are always eager to share lessons learned and benefits of the project.
VOLUNTEER VOICE ~ Aydin Mazaini 
Aydin was introduced to the River Park in 2008 while seeking community service hours for Boy Scouts. He enjoyed clearing the trails and working with the staff so much that he decided to complete his Eagle Scout project at Raptor Ridge in 2010. He helped restore critical oak woodland habitat that had been burned in the 2007 wildfires.

Aydin then learned about the Citizen Scientist Water Quality Monitoring Program through SDRP and San Diego Coastkeeper. His experiences in the field taught him how to follow scientific sampling protocols, and he learned about the watersheds in San Diego County. He also enjoyed testing water samples in the lab at Coastkeeper and cataloging the results. "It was a remarkable experience," he says.
 Starting this Fall, Aydin will be attending the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where he is planning a career in environmental chemistry.

"I would like to thank Rangers Dave Hekel, Natalie Borchardt, and Dante Lee for their dedication to the community and their overwhelming support of my interests. I would like to also thank Mallory Watson and Travis Pritchard from Coastkeeper for teaching me the lab procedures and for showing me how to conduct water sample testing. This is a great experience for anyone who wants to learn about watersheds and help our local environment."

We thank him for his hard work and wish him the best of luck!

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.