5180 Tecolote Road
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (858) 581-9944
Hike: 4.1 miles out and back Level: easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
Tecolote Park has a rather rich history, dating back hundreds of years as a place for food and shelter for the Kumeyaay Indians. Tecolote, or owl in Spanish, was the given name for this bird whom is commonly found in the area.
Judge Hyde was one of the first settlers on this land and began farming in the Tecelote Canyon in 1872. Back then cattle grazed the land and rich soil provided tasty vegetables for their family. It is said that startled residents would sometimes find mounted cowboys herding strays in the backyards of their homes.
In 1978, the City of San Diego purchased this land and officially named it Tecelote Canyon Natural Park. With the help of park rangers, the community has helped to preserve and protect this canyon. Today, you can find a nature center filled with educational props and exhibits and 6.5 miles of trails for biking, hiking, bird-watching and nature-loving.
Personal Experience: This wasn’t an amazing trip by any means, but it does have a historical background and sadly the interpretive center was closed when we visited. It was a fun nature hike though as there are plenty of medicinal and edible plants to study, photograph, sample, whatever. I will have to return another day to get the full experience.