Header, Santa Ysabel Open Space East

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
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Festive Farmhouse
Nature Trail Walk
Jaycees Christmas Parade
Lagoon Bird Walk
Volcan Solstice Hike
Kids Korps Volunteers
Sikes Creamery
Bettle Display
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


Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve Near Julian, turn north from the Farmer Road - Wynola Road intersection.  Drive several hundred feet and park on the shoulder of the road.  The Preserve is closed November through March. 


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:


Volunteer Trail Maintenance Date:  Sunday, December 8
Time:  8:00am ~ 11:00am
Location:  Ysabel Creek Staging Area (see directions in left column)

Join Park Rangers for this trail maintenance event. Work on clearing brush from trail and improving trail conditions! Please bring drinking water, sun protection and wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes. RSVP to Leana@sdrp.org or (858) 674-2275 x14.
Hosted by SDRP Park Ranger David Hekel
Date:  Sunday, December 8
Time:  11:00am ~ 2:00pm
Location: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmhouse (see directions in left column)
Remember making colored paper chains, stringing popcorn, and making homemade ornaments from recycled cards? Remember the smell of cloves in oranges? Come decorate the 1880s Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, and make decorations similar to those of the San Pasqual Valley pioneers to take home with you! The 4th annual Festive Farmhouse will be held on Sunday, December 8th, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.  We will have farmhouse tours, materials for decorating, hot drinks and cookies. Listen to Christmas music played on an 1884 organette and spend some time relaxing in our Victorian parlor. All Ages! Suggested donation: $5.00 for families; $3.00 individuals.  Any questions, please email anne@sdrp.org, or call (760) 432-8318 and please leave a message.

Date:  Saturday, December 14
Time:  9:00am ~ 10:30am
Location:  San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column)

2 miles out and back.  Easy. 
Hosted by SDRP Park Ranger Natalie Borchardt. 
Date:  Saturday, December 14
Time:  9:30am ~ Noon
Location:  Escondido, down Broadway, from Escondido High School to Grape Day Park

The San Dieguito River Park is proud to participate in the Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade for the fourth year in a row.  This year's theme is "Christmas Across the Galaxy."  Join Park Ranger Bryan Ward and Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay in their float down the parade route!  For more information about the Escondido Jaycees or the Christmas Parade, visit the Escondido Jaycees website.
Date:  Saturday, December 21
Time:  8:00am - 10:00am
Location:  San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column)

2 miles out and back.  Easy.  Co-hosted by SDRP Park Rangers and Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock.
Date:  Sunday, December 22
Time:  8:00am ~ 11:00am
Location:  Hubbell Gateway off of Farmer Road in Julian (see directions in left column)

Strenuous.  Special access hike - summit closed Nov. - Apr.
Hosted by SDRVC Conservation Manager David O'Connor.
by Ranger Bryan Ward
The San Dieguito River Park has partnered with Kids Korps USA to bring families out to the San Dieguito Lagoon on the third Sunday of every month for volunteer projects. 

One project brought 24 members of the Del Sur Elementary School Chapter to our habitat restoration site at the Dust Devil Nature Trail to remove invasive iceplant and weed piles, mulch native plants, and dig holes in preparation of this winter's planting. 

Other projects have centered on litter removal along the Coast to Crest Trail and habitat restoration areas.  The kids and parents have a fun time while helping clean up the San Dieguito Lagoon.
Thanks to the work of many hands, replication of the historic adobe outbuilding is moving forward.  Under the direction of contractor, David Phillips, and the instruction of mason, Pete Camarda, apprentice masons and students have completed the construction of the adobe walls. 

Mr. Camarda, representing the Bricklayers of San Diego and Imperial Counties Apprenticeship Trust, donated his time and that of his students, some of whom are working toward journeyman status.  Much of the work was also completed thanks to the donation of materials from RCP Block in Escondido, which assisted with masonry sand and Portland cement.  These materials were mixed with adobe soil from the Sikes property to create the mortar used. 

Next phase will be the construction of the design feature which made this an unusual building: a double roof! Sikes Adobe Creamery is being made in part from a generous donation from Ron Hall in memory of his wife Marilyn Hall.
Robyn Waayers spent the last year collecting beetles in the San Dieguito River Valley for a display portraying the beetles found in the Park. The display can be seen at our main office in Escondido.

Robyn is a local community college instructor of biology and has studied beetles as a serious avocation since 2001. She has discovered several beetle species new to California over the past several years, and is a regular contributor to Bugguide.net. She also has her own beetle web site: "Beetles of the Cuyamaca Mountains".
by:  Ginni Kitchen
I became an SDRP trail patroller just over two years ago. I moved my almost-daily neighborhood walk to the Lagoon trail, and eventually I started patrolling some of the inland trails too. I've really enjoyed watching distinctive birds such as the western grebes on Lake Hodges.

These grebes have a magnificent courtship display known as "rushing," where two birds rear up out of the water and race side by side with their necks curved gracefully forward. The only mammals I ever saw were bunnies and ground squirrels... until Saturday morning, November 23. I started east on the North Shore trail from the parking lot opposite Hernandez Hideaway and was near Del Dios Community Park when I spotted a bobcat relaxing at the mouth of a large drainage pipe. I stopped in my tracks while my fingers fumbled to get the camera out of my pocket for just one shot to prove I had really seen him. I needn't have worried.

The cat didn't mind people on foot at all and calmly watched half a dozen other hikers pass in front of him for the next 10 minutes. He didn't like bicycles, though. When two cyclists came down the trail, he turned tail and disappeared out the other end of the pipe, then I saw him cross Lake Drive and head down to the lake at a fast clip. Hiking an SDRP trail is always a pleasure, but seeing a bobcat was the icing on the cake!

Happy Holidays from the San Dieguito River Park and Staff!  
Interpretive Ranger and Riverscape Editor, Leana Bulay.
Leana@sdrp.org or
(858) 674-2275 x14.