There are 5 places to access the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail, with the main trailhead near the ranger station at Mercy Road and Black Mountain Road, where you'll find information about current conditions. The trail may be closed during, and a few days after, a heavy rain, so it's a good idea to check ahead. The other trailheads, all of which include parking and restrooms, are at Canyonside Park Driveway, Rancho de los Penasquitos, Penasquitos Creek Park and El Cuervo Adobe Ruin.
The canyon through which the trail meanders features furbulous wild flora and fauna, along with the year-round creek burbling by your side in many places. A waterfall that pours over volcanic rock is an always-popular attraction, and the creek water is a grrreat place for cooling off and having a drink. Be sure to treat all water used for drinking!
The trail follows both sides of the creek with several crossings and a final crossing that makes it a loop. The trail also features several side trails for exploring, where your fur-pup may find large waterfowl like herons and egrets, plus mallards, Pacific tree frogs and skittering crayfish in the marshy areas.
Mesas and vertical volcanic rock formations greet you on this hike, and giant California Oaks line the stream accompanied by groves of majestic sycamores. Mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and raccoons will keep Fido's ears and nose woofderfully busy. Generally flat, the trail can be muddy and rocky in places, adding some interest!
The Preserve trail is a great spot for you and Spot to get out and enjoy the fresh air and pawsome sights totally within San Diego's city limits!