San Diego Urban Canyon Explorations

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.

Maple Canyon

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.

Maple Canyon San Diego

Maple Canyon

Allen Canyon

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.

Allen Canyon San Diego

Allen Canyon

Allen Canyon San Diego

Allen Canyon

Some lunch after our canyon exploration