Tag Archives: California

Lake Calavera Loop Trail

CARLSBAD HIGHLANDS ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE

Activity: Day Hike

Distance 4.8 miles, 650’ elevation change, duration 2+ hours, rated Moderate

Feb. 26, 2020

Not every hike can be an epic hike, nor should it be. There needs to be local hikes close to your home, and hikes where you are training and building up towards that epic hike, or just maybe you are only interested in nice little local hike, and have no desire to traverse a treacherous trail barely etched into the side of a mountain, nor plant a flag thus conquering a massive peak.

Lake Calavera Loop Trail is a nice hike for Carlsbad locals. When you stand on top of the Cerro de la Calavera you see that you are surrounded by houses in every direction. The saving grace is down below this area you are left with another impression. You still realize you are in an urban setting, but from the get go you drop down into a bit of a canyon, and because there is a good amount of vegetation you lose that urban feel and it’s more like you are going for a walk in the country.

The Preserve has trails going all over the place, so you can really mix and match your hike to what you would like to do, and how long you want to hike. If you want to hike to the top of Cerro de la Calavera- so be it, or you may want to go over to the little pond like Lake Calavera. You can hike more in the open or more in the bush. So lots of flavors to choose from.

I wouldn’t travel to hike this spot, but if you are in the area it could make for a pleasant afternoon, and it sure beats walking around the neighborhood.

“We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down.” – Robert Sweetgall

This was a nice afternoon in the Carlsbad area ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, stay tuned to San Diego Hiking or perhaps checkout the menu above. PBTA goes adventuring all over the West. Each location is a separate site and thus needs to be FOLLOWED separately. Speaking of which… please COMMENT, FOLLOW, SHARE and LIKE. Like my hat? You can buy it at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Santa Margarita River Trail

Fallbrook California

Activity: Day Hike

Date: June 12, 2019

Distance: 5 miles, 500′ elevation change, 3 hour duration, rated Moderate

This was a delightful hike along the Santa Margarita River Trail. Much of the hike is shaded with wonderful trees along a scenic stream.

The trail will seem to end at a beautiful spot of water tumbling over boulders. The only way to continue on would be some serious bouldering both in and out of the water.

What you can do is backtrack until you see a trail heading up. This trail will seem to take you to a neighborhood on the top of the hill, however you will see a trail to your left that will take you back down toward the river below.

At the farthest portion of the trail you will be out in the open with views of the surrounding hillsides.

At the top I decided to make a loop of it to add some mileage and to see what I could see. The trails I was on at that point were access trails for the homes on the hilltop above to be able to reach the Santa Margarita River Trail. It added maybe a half mile or so to my journey before reconnecting with the Santa Margarita River Trail.

Fantastic hike and I would highly recommend it.

Trail Map of Santa Margarita River Trail

Much of the trail is shaded.

Map of the Fallbrook’s Santa Margarita Preserve

Wildflowers along the trail.

Path along the River.

Trail

Little marshy backwater

Just a delightful hike.

The shade is glorious on a warm summer day.

Wildlife along the way.

If you get hot there are plenty of places to relax and dip your feet in the cool water.

Love the rocks and the reeds.

Peekaboo view of the creek.

The video of the running water is even better.

The river provides the moisture for the flowers even as we move into the dry summer months.

I realize that I have an abundance of the shaded path shots but they it really was wonderful.

As I headed up away from the river I got above the tunnel of trees along the river and could see the surrounding hillsides.

This is near the top and the furthest portion of the marked trail as marked by the trail map

This is one of the few places with a sandy beach and I believe is sought after as I overheard some trail Moms.

On my way back there were some ladies fishing in the stream. I could see the tiny fish that they were attempting to attract. I pointed out to them this dark shape moving along the opposite bank. I said that’s the one you want. They got very excited and started trying to move up the bank.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure is a worthy undertaking. I hope this experience inspires you to seek such solace. Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open”

-Jawaharlal Nehru

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Santa Margarita Preserve Trail

Fallbrook, California

Activity: Day Hike

Date: June 12, 2019

Distance: 1.2 miles, 40 feet elevation change, less than one hour duration, rated Easy.

What stood out to me on this quick little jaunt was how lush this area was with foliage. I am sure the river keeps everything well irrigated.

This hike is green and lush, at least in early summer. The trail is good, a lot of it sand. It is short enough to be fun and interesting for kids. The end of the trail, at least as it is marked on this map, is the river and it is very nice. A great place to take off your shoes and enjoy the cool water.

It does appear that if you cross the stream there is a trail that continues on the other side beyond what is marked on the map. If you look ever so closely at the picture you will see a cowboy on horse back just entering the picture below. After speaking with him I turned back on his recommendation of an adventure more suited for what I was looking for. He let me know the trail we were on was better for horses and that more serious hikers choose the Santa Margarita River Trail, which is at another location nearby.

Santa Margarita Preserve Trail map

Welcome to the Preserve.

A very lush area along the Santa Margarita Preserve Trail. This looks like a portal into another dimension, and it is if you think about it as we get in touch with nature, and perhaps ourselves while we are at it.

Good information regarding what to do in case of a rattle snake encounter.

Blooms along the trail.

There is always a chance of a bad encounter with nature, but highly unlikely.

Cactus in the Santa Margarita Preserve

Santa Margarita River, I would call this a stream but no one asked me when they named it.

There were no logs, branches, or rocks to help me ford the stream, so off came the boots.

I had just cross the stream barefoot, as I didn’t want to get my hiking boots wet, when a cowboy on horseback moseyed across the stream. He was kind enough to inform me of a hike that I would enjoy even more, the Santa Margarita River Trail, and that it wasn’t far from this location.

Thanks for Pursuing Balance Through Adventure with me in San Diego County. Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

– Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Double Peak Trail

Double Peak Trail via Discovery Lake

San Marcos, CA

Activity: Day Hike

Date: June 9, 2019

Distance: 4 miles (Added Cima Dr. Trail 1.5 miles making it closer to 6 miles), elevation change over 1000’, duration 2.5 hours, rated Moderate

This hike had good mileage and elevation change. Double Peak has great views of the entire area, 360-degree sights from the top such as San Maros Peak, Lake San Marcos, San Bernadino Mountains, Mount San Jacinto, Palomar Mountains, Mount Whitney, Volcan Mountains (Julian), and there was some haze from marine layer so it wasn’t clear, but Catalina Island, San Clemente Island, Coronado Islands, and Tijuana.

This loop hike did a good job of feeling the nature aspect, but I have to say there was more urban to this hike then I like.

The hike starts out with a nature feel, but it goes through a couple nice neighborhoods, and when you get to the top you see that you could have driven there as well, and there is urban sprawl in every direction. However, it is a great hike for that area and perhaps to train for other hikes.

Near the end I wanted to add more mileage so I opted to take Cima Drive Trail that had a nature feel, but basically skirted some nice neighborhoods.

Views of mountains, and hillsides covered with chaparral.

Map of hike, back near the end I added the Cima Drive Trail which was another Loop.

The trailhead started out next to Discovery Lake.

Double Peak Trail

The different type of trails were rather diverse. This picture shows wide open almost like a manicured fancy horse trail. Other times it is dirt or rocky, and sometimes you have the option of taking a steep dusty trail with loose rocks or a roadway.

This shows some of the vegetation. The one thing that was a bit of a bummer was there were some annoying flies. I saw some people with a branch with leaves which I discovered they were to swat at the bugs. I suppose it’s all part of nature in the early summer.

Rattlesnake country, but I didn’t see any nor did I meet anyone that had on this day.

Wildflowers

Some of the ridge line.

More wildflowers

Trail and more wildflowers.

Along the trail

Much of the hike was exposed, but there was some shade.

Just a reminder that nature could eat you.

This is stepper than it looks, but I could have taken the roadway as an option to this stretch.

Nice view of the hillsides.

I wanted more mileage so I took the Cima Dr. Trail. It added something like 1-2 miles.

This part was more like a nature walk, but still it was nice.

Thanks for joining me ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Will you favor me with a LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and please FOLLOW me. Until my next adventure here to wishing you find some adventure of your own.