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Penasquitos Creek Loop

Easy/Intermediate
 3.9 (18) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An east-west trail that provides access to the majority of Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve trails.


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Map Key

13.1

Miles

21.1

KM

100%

Runnable

247' 75 m

High

35' 11 m

Low

319' 97 m

Up

319' 97 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

8%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open all year. Parking areas are open from 8AM - 6PM.

Overview

A long loop through the preserve with unusual areas of lush, verdant woodlands that seem out of place in the desert landscapes of San Diego County.

Need to Know

Though signage is clear, some trails see illegal bike use to be aware of.

Runner Notes

A well-maintained trail with lots of shade for a cooler option in the middle of the day.

Description

This route provides access to the majority of the Preserve's trails.

Start at the Penasquitos Creek Park parking area and head west. The trail will wind around the creek and end at the highway. There are several creek tributaries you can cross along the trail.

At the highway, you cross the overpass and return on the south side of the creek heading east.

Besides the main trail, there is singletrack along the creek and outside of the main trail. There are also a number of spur trails to explore.

Flora & Fauna

Invasive wild fennel, poison oak, and rattlesnakes are greatly present but greatly outnumbered by the beautiful plant and animal species to keep an eye out for.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert with improvements by DD Demers

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 18 votes

#2359

Overall
  3.9 from 18 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
56%
3 Star
28%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#312

in California

#2,359

Overall
29 Views Last Month
3,985 Since Oct 25, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

47%
7%
47%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Mustard bloom in Los Peñasquitos Canyon.
Feb 19, 2017 near Carmel…, CA
The view downstream from the falls
Sep 22, 2020 near Carmel…, CA
The falls
Sep 22, 2020 near Carmel…, CA
Los Peñasquitos Canyon on a very clear winter day. Mt. Woodson is visible 15 miles away slightly right of center.
Jan 26, 2021 near Carmel…, CA
Wagonwheel creek crossing.
Oct 25, 2016 near Fairban…, CA
Side Hill - Connector to Del Mar Mesa Preserve.
Oct 25, 2016 near Fairban…, CA

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Check-Ins

Apr 7, 2019
Whitney R
Dec 15, 2018
Meghan Ryan
Have done this many many many times before this shorter run here today with Anya 13.1mi
Sep 15, 2018
Meghan Ryan
3:00:22 17.6mi
Dec 2, 2017
Ryan Dominguez
Apr 16, 2017
Jeremy Roberts
5.8mi