The Rancho Peñasquitos Waterfall is not much of a waterfall by normal standards, but for San Diego, I guess this is what we qualify as one. Los Peñasquitos Canyon is characterized by varied natural resources. Evidence of the rich biodiversity of the canyon include over 500 plant species, more than 175 types of birds, and a great variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Many of these species are rare or endangered and are protected within the Preserve.
Many different geologic formations and soil types make up the steep slopes, riparian stream corridors, flat mesa tops and grassy hillsides of the Preserve. The varying terrains and soil types, in conjunction with continually flowing water, form more than 14 habitat types and support a diverse collection of flora and fauna.
The scenery of the canyon includes:
* a waterfall cascading through volcanic rock;
* a streamside forest of giant California live oaks;
groves of majestic sycamore trees;
* a year-round stream populated by Pacific tree frogs, crayfish and largemouth bass;
* a freshwater marsh hosting a variety of aquatic birds including great blue herons, egrets, mallard ducks and more;
mule deer, bobcat, coyote and raccoon are just a few of the mammals that can be observed throughout the Preserve.
These photos will help show the hike leading to the waterfall. Be careful of poison oak! We parked at the Adobe Ranch House which is located at the back of the baseball fields. Just head west the entire time. You will go through random woodsy areas and open fields. It's about 2.5 miles one way.
We did this hike January 2016, right after insane flooding. The hike is not usually this wet:
I just loved that huge stick in this dog's mouth!