Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego

4.3
#11 of 13 in Nature in San Diego
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is an urban park in San Diego, California. Stretching approximately 7mi, the park encompasses some 4000acre of both Peñasquitos and Lopez canyons, and is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The preserve is jointly owned and administered by the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego.Los Peñasquitos is also home to the historic Rancho Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos, an adobe home built in the early 1820s. Operated by the County of San Diego, the home has been restored and tours are available for the public.Natural historyMore than 500 plant species, more than 175 types of birds, and a great variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals make up the rich bio-diversity of the park. Many of these species are rare or endangered.The geology of the Preserve area has been described in a geology book by John Northrup in conjunction with the University of California & published by Windsor Associates. Nearby is the Torrey Pines State Reserve, where one of only two extant stands of the endangered Torrey Pine is found.Further reading C.Michael Hogan (2008) Torrey Pine: Pinus torreyana, Globaltwitcher, ed. Nicklas Stromberg John Northrop. 1988. Geology of Los Peñasquitos Canyon, 40 pages
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Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
42 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The easy walk is a typical canyon hike with the downhill at the beginning and the return with a gentle uphill grade. The trail starts in a small eucalyptus grove. some volcanic rock, and enters a cham...  more »
  • No time too far to go when jogging or ideal to take a walk. Be careful, however, because it is difficult to understand is lost.
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  • This park is really cool. The trails are very diverse and in the winter there is a lot of water. This is a great spot to run, hike, bike, or take the dog for a walk. This place is also has a lot of geocaches that are not terrible difficult to find. There is public restrooms and water fountains available but only in the parking lot, bring a water bottle because it does get hot here. Parking was $3 at the time I wrote this but it is well worth it. This it truly one of the gems of San Diego County.
  • Had a fun time on these trails. Very beautiful. The waterfall is not a really waterfall. More like a babbling Brook. Bring water!! Lots of options.
  • Beautiful hiking area with bikers and horses. First visit we saw a mountain lion about 10 feet off the trail and 30 feet ahead of us. My heart is still racing.
  • Very enjoyable for a day hike. Trails are well maintained easy to walk. Great place for dogs. Bring lots of water.
  • 3-ish mile hike on a flat dirt trail, great for running and bringing your dog! Trail ends at a cool stream to dip your feet in. The trail has sparse shade so bring lots of water and stay covered

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