Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego

#11 of 13 in Nature in San Diego
Canyon · State Park
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
Before you head to San Diego, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly San Diego trip itinerary website, to make sure you see all that San Diego has to offer, including Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.
Create an itinerary including Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
51 reviews
  • The trail following the river bed is fairly flat and an easy walk. Along the way we stopped by the ranch and met the PQ goats. They were so friendly and seemed to love getting pets and scratches...  more »
  • Easy, pretty level. A couple different routes to take, so you can choose. Then when you get to the waterfall, you can jump around the rocks to see different tiny waterfalls.
  • Good hiking and walking paths. Only walked the cactus trail and saw the creek but there was tons more to explore, including a waterfall!

Plan your trip to San Diego

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.