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The Del Mar Mesa is a 2000 acre ridge on the coast between La Jolla and Del Mar. The entire Del Mar Mesa is restricted to multi-use equestrian, biking, and hiking trails throughout the neighborhoods. Los Peñasquitos, meaning little cliffs, Canyon Preserve lies between Rancho Peñasquitos and Sorrento Hills to the north and Mira Mesa to the south. Stretching approximately seven miles and encompasses some 4,000 acres.
 Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve attracts people with its natural beauty and rich natural resources. Native American history within the Preserve dates back as far as 7,000 years ago. Over 500 plant species, more than 175 types of birds, and great variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals evidences the rich bio-diversity of the canyon. Many of these species are rare or endangered and are protected within the Preserve. Many different geologic formations and soil types make up the steep slopes, riparian stream corridors, flat mesa tops and grassy hillsides.

Scenery of the Canyons Includes:

  • Groves of majestic sycamore trees.

  • A waterfall cascading through volcanic rock.

  • A streamside forest of giant California live oaks.

  • A year-round stream populated by pacific tree frogs, crayfish, and largemouth bass.
  • A fresh water marsh hosting a variety of aquatic birds including great blue herons, egrets, mallard ducks and more.
  • Mammals that can be observed include raccoon, mule deer, coyotes, and bobcats.

    Overhead Trail Map of Los Penasquitos Canyon
    Click on map for a larger view (pdf)