West Side Road

West Side “Road” is a hiking trail on Cleveland National Forest land that starts at the very end of the San Diego Country Estates area near Ramona. It’s very close to the super-popular Cedar Creek Falls trailhead – and receives very little attention. Continue reading

Cedar Creek Falls, March 2016 (11 photos)

And once again I contradicted myself, hiking to Cedar Creek Falls once more. But well, after finding out last year that all one has to do to be able to enjoy this beautiful place in solitude is to be out there early enough in the morning on a weekday, I was of course curious how it would look this year. Continue reading

Cedar Creek Falls, March 2015 (14 photos)

The weather forecast looked really good for Wednesday, so Joe and I set out to hike Cedar Creek Falls in the morning. We were at the trailhead at 8am, it was mostly overcast, and the whole area was incredibly lush and green already – nature seems to be much further already this year than in previous years. The mild winter certainly had an effect. Continue reading

Mount Gower (3 photos)

I had wanted to visit Mount Gower Open Space Preserve for quite a long time, but since the two possible hikes in the area are both out in the open and without any shade, it’s something to be done only in Winter, or on an overcast day. Now, our Winter is not exactly what it should be this year (in fact, it’s cause of the worst drought in California, ever) but the temperatures are much more pleasant for activities in that area, nevertheless. Continue reading

San Diego River Gorge (9 photos)

A visit to upper San Diego River Gorge – I hiked in from the “old” Saddleback trailhead, which is closer to Julian. And while my intention was to maybe visit Cedar Creek Falls, the number of cars at the trailhead (seven – on a Monday afternoon no less) quickly convinced me that the hope to find solitude there on a weekday was futile. I didn’t feel like seeing people. I just wanted to be out by myself in nature for a couple of hours. Continue reading

Barnett Ranch (7 photos)

Barnett Ranch is a smaller Open Space Preserve south of Ramona, located between Ramona and the San Diego Country Estates area. It is one of these locations that are best hiked in Spring and/or on an overcast day. Some might argue whether it’s actually a hike, or just a nature walk. Either way, we enjoyed it on an overcast day early in February. Here are some impressions. Continue reading

Pamo Valley (3 photos)

Afternoon walk at Pamo Valley. I parked the car at the turnoff to the Lusardi Truck Trail and walked up into the canyon a little bit. Since Pamo Valley and the views of it soon disappeared, I didn’t continue too far though. Nevertheless, the low afternoon sun combined with haze provided a really nice atmosphere as I looked back towards Pamo Valley from the trail.
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Barnett Ranch Preserve (4 photos)

Barnett Ranch is an Open Space Preserve near Ramona, north and west of today’s Barona Indian Reservation. On older maps, the area is part of Cañada San Vicente y Mesa del Padre Barona, south of Ramona (Ramona itself used to be Santa Maria Valley, for the Santa Maria Creek – it’s a pity and shame that old place-names get lost so easily today because of “modern” digital maps that simply do not have them anymore, at all). Continue reading