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
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market
Second Saturday Ranger Led Walk
Coastal Walk and Yoga on the Beach
Canyoneers Walks
Lagoon Bird Walk
High Tech Elementary School Event
Tea for Two or Tea for You
High Tech Elementary Fieldtrip
Volunteers on Patrol
Art in Nature


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:


  Sundays, January 5, 12, 19, 26
Time:  10:30am ~ 3:30am
Location: At the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead in Escondido.  See directions in left column

  Saturday, January 11
Time:  9:00am ~ 10:30am
Location:  Meet at the Dust Devil Nature Trail Staging Area (see directions in left column)

This is an easy 1.7 mile loop.  Hosted by SDRP Park Ranger Natalie Borchardt
Date:  Sunday, January 12
Time:  8:30am
Location:  Meet at the San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk

4 miles out and back.  Easy.
Co-Hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea.
Date:  Sunday, January 12
Time:  9:00am - 10:30am or 1:00pm
Location:  Meet at the Bernardo Bay Natural Area (see directions in left column)

Two options:  3 miles out and back (turn around at Felicita Creek).  Easy.  or 6 miles out and back (turn around at Bernardo Mountain Summit).  Moderate.  Hosted by San Diego Natural History Museum Volunteers.
Date:  Saturday, January 18
Time:  8:00am - 10:00am
Location:  Meet at the Crest Canyon North 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.

Saturday, January 25
Time:  10:00am
Location:  Meet at the Lagoon Viewpoint at the Old Grand Avenue Bridge in Del Mar.

Co-Hosted by SDRP Park Rangers and High Tech Elementary School.
Date:  Sunday, February 9th, 16th, and 23rd.
Time:  1:00pm and 3:00pm 
Location:  Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead (see directions in left column)

A steaming cup of hot tea and a delicious plate of sweets and sandwiches await YOU.  $10.00 includes tour of farmhouse.  Reservations via email to  Please specify which Sunday, number in your party, and seating time.
Reservations only.  All proceeds benefit the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.
For further information, please visit
by Shelley Glenn Lee
Twenty second graders from High Tech Elementary North County (HTeNC) visited the San Dieguito Lagoon and the nearby Crest Canyon trail on November 15th. As part of a project that will culminate in a student authored and illustrated guide to the animals of the area, students spent the morning observing the birds and plants of the lagoon with Ranger Leana Bulay and teacher Shelley Glenn Lee. Students learned about the mammals that have been spotted in the area, the fish and marine plants that reside underwater, and how humans use and protect the lagoon.

While hiking the Crest Canyon trail, students found wild cucumber, a spider wasp, coyote scat, and spotted a bat box! The students are excited to work on the field guide, which will be presented to the Rangers and the public during Family Days on January 25th at Grand Ave Bridge at 10am, the public is welcome to attend. 
by Steve Scarano
With over a century of professional law enforcement experience behind the three of them, volunteer Tom Bussey and Steve Scarano and their guest Mike Poehlman were recently in the frost-coated Sante Fe Valley trail on a routine trail patrol. Bussey's 34 years included service as a volunteer Reserve Officer and two years as a police officer in Wrangell, Alaska before retiring as a sergeant in Oceanside. Poehlman's 38 years saw him as Chief of both the Oceanside and Reno (NV) Departments. Scarano retired as a captain after three decades in Oceanside.

That was then and this was now. Tom and Steve have been active SDRP volunteers for nine years and have re-purposed some of their traditional customers contact skills. Because administrative duties and a focus on trail maintenance and habitat restoration somewhat limit the ability of the Park's seven rangers to actually "range", the corps of volunteers serves as their visible extensions. Since "enforcement" is not an internal element of its mission, the Park is largely dependent upon peripheral agencies - Escondido and San Diego Police Departments and the San Diego Sheriff's Department, for example.  

On bicycles, horse and afoot, Trail Patrollers represent the Park by seeking the voluntary compliance of visitors to rules such as keeping people and dogs on the designated trails, and leashing and picking up after their dogs. The Patrollers' have learned that they sometimes have the opportunity to educate the visitor, which can promote understanding, appreciationand concern, and then generate a sense of shared stewardship. When that happens, the visitor expresses-through words and action-a desire to protect the Park resources while enjoying the them, and may even convey those values to other people.

Tom and Steve have occasionally rendered first aid to hikers and bikers, but more often simply offer trail information and as they are able, interpret the area's history, flora and fauna to visitors. It is not uncommon that hikers have enlightened them about plants and animals, for instance. Patrollers are ambassadors, explainers and reinforcers of desirable Park behavior by their soft uniformed presence and their demeanor but are not always successful in gaining the willing compliance of people who violate the posted Park regulations. "If people tell us to 'take a hike', Scarano says, "We just tell them we're already on one."
Plein-Air Art Exhibit
Celebrate nature and art with an exciting, month-long program that combines three exhibitions that feature the beauty of the living landscape in the San Dieguito River Valley. The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) has joined forces with Plein-Air Painters of America (PAPA) and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido to present an exhibit that brings together nature with art from the past, present and future.

Early Artists - An exhibition of artworks from private collections by early 20th century, California impressionist painters.  Among featured artists are: Charles A. Fries (1854 - 1940), Maurice Braun (1877-1941), Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972) and Charles Riffel (1862-1942).

Contemporary Plein-Air Painters - The Plein-Air Painters of America is a group of accomplished professional artists who are dedicated to painting on-location and responding to the timeless beauty that surrounds us all. Twenty PAPA members will spend several days painting on location in the San Dieguito River Valley watershed, including the coast from La Jolla to Encinitas and inland to the crest of Volcan Mountain. Their plein-air paintings, as well as studio works derived from field studies, comprise more than 100 paintings that will be for sale during the exhibition.

Future Plein-Air Painters - The California Center for the Arts coordinates with local schools and art education organizations to provide children with the opportunity to create paintings by observing nature. Their work will be on exhibit during the Art In Nature program.

Location: The California Center for the Arts, 340 North Escondido Blvd. 92025

Opening Weekend Events:

Friday, April 4,  5:00-7:00 p.m. - Pre-Opening, Meet the Artists

Saturday, April 5, 3:00 p.m. - Presentation by Jean Stern, Director, Irvine Museum on Early California Impressionists

Saturday April 5, 6:00 p.m. - Exhibition Opening Gala

Sunday, April 6, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Exhibition Opens to the Public

Sunday, April 13 - Special lecture by Rich Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods (2005), and The Nature Principle (2011).

The exhibit remains on view through April 27, 2014.

A portion of the proceeds generated from art sales will benefit the SDRVC.

Enjoy the diversity of the San Dieguito River Park. 
Interpretive Ranger and Riverscape Editor, Leana Bulay. or
(858) 674-2275 x14.