Trail Run Adventure to the Waterfall

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 under running, Trail | 8 Comments

I have been hoping to finally run on some trails for the past couple of months, but things kept getting in the way. First, it was training for my first half marathon and my incessant need to stick to the schedule. Then, it was a matter of actually finding good trails to run on, which is a task in itself. Once I finally figured out worthy trails to run on, out of nowhere, it rained every weekend for at least 3 weeks straight. And this is in San Diego, where it never rains! I finally found a weekend where rain was not forecasted. Actually, it rained later that afternoon, but I had finished just before it started. It may have been perfect timing since it is just a few weeks before only the 2nd trail race I’ve ever ran, the Black Mountain Summit 7K. What I’m hoping is that combining these trail runs before and after racing the 7K, I will be more than prepared for my next half marathon, the La Jolla Half Marathon (2nd half of the Half Marathon Triple Crown). This half, I heard, has a few daunting hills within this scenic 13.1 mile course.

So the trail I found is called the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, which has (at least) two main entrances to the trail. You actually have to pay ($3) to park at the lot by the entrances, but there is a park just down the road that is free to park in. I didn’t want to pull a muscle while running the trails, so…I chose to park down the road and ‘warm up’ to the entrance (good excuse, right?). What I learned at the end of the run is that there is actually a path to get to the same point from the park! Anyways, once I got to started, I noticed that the trail is very wide, which accommodates walkers/runners, bikers as well as equestrians. Because of the rains, there were not many people on the trails that morning, which was OK since there weren’t really any forks in the main road that would potentially get me lost all alone. There were a lot of side trails that led to to what looked like steeper, funner, hilly trails. But again, the rain had caused these paths to temporarily close; definitely piqued my interest though. The only problem with veering off to these trails is I have NO idea where it’ll lead me. The main path is supposed to be about 5 miles East to West and about 3 miles West is supposed to be a fun stop at a waterfall.

It was nice being able to run to a destination as opposed to just doing one big loop. However, when I got to said destination, I was a little disappointed (only a little because I read other people’s account of this majestic waterfall and they were not too impressed either). It looked more like a rapid flowing river with lots of rocks surrounding than a Niagara Falls-esque waterfall. What was cool was if you wanted to cross the ‘river’ to get to the trail on the other end, you had to very carefully walk across the rocks that were laid across. That would have been quite an adventure (if I did it)! Check out the photos below as well as the secret bridge/path to the park that I took back to my car. I’m hoping to take another stab at this trail in the future, and if I’m daring enough to follow “the road less traveled” 🙂

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail Waterfall

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail Bridge

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail Bridge

8 Responses to “Trail Run Adventure to the Waterfall”

  1. azrunning Says:

    I’ve heard the road less traveled makes all the difference.

  2. lindsay Says:

    well… i mean did you really expect a niagara-type waterfall in san diego? i mean i’d think you woulda heard of it in school growing up 😉

    back home you can “hike to a waterfall”… umm the trail ends at a lookout point where you can see a waterfall WAYYYYYY off in the distance. totally disappointing. at least this one you could touch the water! lol.

    hope you are able to get out and explore the side trails (safely, of course)

  3. Anne Says:

    There are several other wooded crossings like that one along the main trail. You’ll have to try them on for size one day. You should also check out the trails of 4S Ranch if you can. Me? I’m hiking up Black Mountain the first chance I get (I’m now in class on weekends – boo!).

  4. Donna Seligman Says:

    I love this trail and have worked out a 10 mile loop by starting at the Mesa off of East Ocean Air, working down to the 56 trail, and get over to the canyon via the Fish Head Trail and Shaw Valley Trail. BTW, you missed the duck pond! We might run the trails on the 20th but you will have to slow down… I am not going over 10 mm pace.

  5. meg Ling Says:

    I have so many “hot” memories of running this trail last summer and there wasn’t any water there at all! I guess I was expecting this raging water fall with a place to swim and frolic. Wait, this is San Diego, right?!

  6. meg Ling Says:

    yeah, I posted a comment finally!

  7. Donna Seligman Says:

    It is so fun to run it right now! Small tadpoles in the pond and in the standing water up on the Mesa! Very cool.


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