Lake Ramona was built in the 1980's as a storage facility to provide inexpensive water for local agricultural needs as well as an emergency storage in case a shortage should arise. Access to this lake is rather difficult and great for endurance, therefore keeping the population of people low. I recommend this trip in fall, winter and spring as it gets HOT out here in summer.
There are no bathrooms or drinking fountains up there so please bring enough water for the hike back. It is almost 3 miles one way and much of it is climbing up hill. You must go through the Blue Sky Reserve in Poway to get to this lake, which is quite beautiful and forested with greenery and flowers in the spring.
The lake is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. They close the gates in the parking lot at sunset so plan your trip accordingly! Make sure to bring snacks too as this hike works up an appetite! There is no swimming allowed but you can fish. I have read that there are bass and catfish.
So that dam in the photo below is our destination. You must hike below into the canyon and then zigzag back up to reach it. 1-way is almost 3 miles:
You will pass Poway Lake on your way:
We went in mid Feb. and the spring flowers were just beginning to bloom:
Once you get below into the canyon you will be greeted with shade, canopies of trees and beauty!
Watch out for poison oak though!
Mini-break. It was pretty hot out this day.
There are stunning views up there! Let us continue to climb though!
Finally! You actually get to walk through the dam to get to the lake!
Close-up of the dam:
We made it!
We had to get back before the gates closed so we didn't get to spend too much time at the lake. So heading back down!
Photo below is by Kayla Brooke:
Member's SectionMurphy's Ranch
Anza Borrego Desert
Cuyamaca State Park