I love to get out and explore the more wild areas surrounding wherever I live, but I sometimes overlook the good stuff that’s really close to home. We decided this week to explore two canyons, both within walking distance of home.
On Saturday we did a four mile loop, making our way down to the Maple Canyon Trail. The canyon is pretty beautiful, especially this time of year, where the nearly ¾ of a mile trail winds through Eucalyptus and Palm trees. The trail, for much of it’s length is actually an old dirt road, only narrowing down to single-track towards the northeastern corner of the canyon. We then crossed the couple blocks over to Balboa Park, let the little man play a bit at one of the play centers, and then circled back home through Hillcrest, stopping by our favorite little pizza place.
This morning we decided to check out a lesser-known canyon, Allen Canyon. Walking through the shops and restaurants around the Mission Hills business district, and then making our way northwest along Fort Stockton Drive. Just past a small collection of business, Allen Road drops a short distance down the hill, where a small trail takes off. Allen Canyon is pretty beautiful, with several nice, lush sections (at least in February) that could make a nice spot for a picnic. The trail down can be pretty rough in spots. Since the trail looks like it occasionally doubles as a creek, much of the trail tread has some large rocks, and there are some pretty eroded sections of trail. The lower section, near Hotel Circle Road had a little homeless camp (nobody home though), and some litter strewn about. Still, it’s a beautiful canyon, and maybe someday I’ll have to bring a shovel and other tools and do some work.
The nice thing about the Allen Canyon trail, is that there is a great little coffee shop, right where Allen Rd intersects Fort Stockton Drive. After exploring the canyon, we had a nice sandwich and a coffee, enjoying the nice warm afternoon before making our way back home.
Some lunch after our canyon exploration