Tag Archives: San Elijo Hills Trails

City of San Marcos Fall Hikes 2015

San Elijo Hills Trails

City of San Marcos Fall Hikes 2015

Saturday September 5th
San Elijo Hills Park OLD CREEK RANCH, CANYON TRAIL CARLSBAD TRAILS CONNECTION 9 am to Noon (sign in at 8:30) Hike the trails north and west of San Elijo Park including Old Creek Ranch and Canyon Trails. The 4 mile hike is rated moderately difficult. A challenging, 7+ mile hike with fast and slower groups will also be offered to the trails that connect to Denk Mountain and the Carlsbad trails system. Meeting location: San Elijo Hills Park/Recreation Center, 1105 Elfin Forest Rd., San Marcos
33 05.998 N 117 12.125 W

Saturday October 3rd
Las Posas Park, 2nd San Diego Aqueduct, Blue Bird Cyn., Lake Wohlford Flume
9 am to Noon (sign-in at 8:30) 7.0 miles 580’ of elevation gain
This hike will explore the 2nd San Diego Aqueduct north from Las Posas Road to Buena Creek Road and then head east along the Lake Wohlford Flume that transports water from Lake Wohlford to the Pechstein Resevoir at Blue Bird Canyon Road.
Meeting location: Cerro de Las Posas Park, 1387 West Borden Road, San Marcos
33 09.639 N 117 11.199 W

Saturday November 7th Ridgeline Trailhead to Antennas
9am to Noon (sign in at 8:30am)
This moderately difficult, 7.6 mile hike will explore the Cerro de Las Posas ridgeline trails with overlooks of Lake San Marcos, the Valley of Discovery and the Pacific Ocean. There will be steep climbs with an elevation gain of 1390 feet.
Meeting location: Ridgeline Trailhead Parking Lot, 102 San Elijo Road San Marcos
33 06.454 N 117 09.969 W

Saturday December 5th Leo Carrillo Ranch
9am to Noon (sign in at 8:30am) This 4-mile hike will explore the trails of the Rancho Dorado/Rancho Carrillo area and visit Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. A more challenging 5 mile hike with an elevation gain of 350’ (uphill to Simmons Family Park) will be offered.

Meeting location Carrillo Elementary School (parking lot near the trailhead), 2875 Poinsettia Lane, Carlsbad, 92009. 33 07.180 N 117 14.445 W


Favorite Trails in San Elijo Hills


One of my favorite places to hike is the Lake View Trail. It’s perfect for a quick hike with plenty of parking off San Elijo Road, just past the fire station, heading toward San Marcos. The parking lot is large, dirt, with restrooms, water fountains and picnic tables. One of the picnic tables is covered by a large canopy for shade. What a gift! The trail is dog-friendly, offering doggie bags along the way. Many trails in California don’t allow our furry friends to join us, but lucky for us, this one does.

This past Saturday we took the dogs with us for a quick hike in the sunshine. Starting at the trailhead, we read bulletins helpfully warning us of any dangers. One such warning was about mountain lions sighted in the area. The post advised us not to: “walk or ride alone, keep small children (and dogs) close to adults, if sighted, do not run away; back up slowly and give them their space, and call 911 to notify authorities where animal was last seen.”

A quick reference to National Geographic on our smart phone told us that the danger of spotting a mountain lion is slim.  Mountain Lions “usually hunt at night or during the gloaming hours of dawn and dusk,” and “statistics show that, on average, there are only four attacks and one human fatality each year in all of the U.S. and Canada.”

Good to know!

A helpful map showed us that the trail we were about to embark on was one of many of over 18 miles of trails that zigzag through San Elijo. We tightened our shoelaces and set off on the Lakeview Trail.

The trail is very well maintained. Wooden fences protect hikers from steep drops throughout, and the views are expansive. Immediately after embarking on the hike, we were treated to the sight of South Lake, nestled into the hills separating San Elijo from San Marcos. Its deep blue is an oasis in the warm browns, oranges and greens of our Mediterranean countryside. Beyond the lake, one of the new developments cropping up around San Marcos could be seen.

Quickly, the trail turns into a secluded path, shaded by brush and with wildflowers on the slopes above and below the trail. Red, white, purple and yellow wildflowers add dots of color along the way, giving beauty to the landscape.

Not all of the trail is shady, but good parts of it offer a reprieve from the sun. There aren’t too many steep climbs, either. For the most part, the trail dips and climbs lazily along the ridge. In this respect, it’s great for hikers of all ages and abilities. Rock lovers could spend a great deal of time oohing and ahhing over the unique formations visible in the side of the slope throughout.

Following the trail about a mile, you could end up on Double Peak Road. Using the sidewalks, a very steep climb alongside the road (not for the faint of heart!) will take you to the very top of the mountain and Double Peak Park, elevation 1644 feet. An easy drive will also get you there– make sure you bring your camera! Your efforts will be rewarded–there’s lots to do and see. Restrooms, a playground (which appears to be under construction) and even an amphitheater are available, with the very top of the peak offering 360 degree views spanning in all directions to Catalina Island, San Bernadino, San Jacinto and Palomar Mountains, the Encinitas Power Plant, Coronado Islands, and even Tijuana! There is a telescope and helpful map built into the ground to aid in your vision.

Satisfied at taking advantage of the beautiful weather and getting fresh air and exercise, we headed toward home.

The Lakeview Trail is open from sunrise to sunset. Parking is free. Described by the Official San Elijo Trail Guide, found here: “This trail is a soft-surfaced, moderate to difficult climb. It skirts the northeasterly edge of San Elijo Hills for a little over 1 mile. There are expansive views to South Lake and beyond. This trail connects the Discovery Lake Area with San Elijo Road.”

Happy Hiking!

Katie Beebe-San Elijo Life Staff Blogger