Summer is officially, definitely here! We hope you're finding ways to stay cool -- and bringing plenty of water with you when you hike, run, or ride in the River Park.

The summer heat might lull many animals (and people) to rest and conserve energy -- but not us! The Conservancy and River Park are moving at full speed as always. The Coast to Crest Trail Challenge kicks off this month and we're excited to see everyone's selfies! Remember to tag #C2CChallenge on Facebook or Instagram when you share your photos from the Challenge hikes -- we'll share some on our profiles.

Thank you for your continued support of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park! Don't forget to renew your Conservancy membership and invite your friends, too!


Sundays, July
2, 9, 16, 23, 30
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, July 1
8:30 am
Lake Hodges Guided Hike
7 miles, easy/moderate
Hosted by City of San Marcos Park Rangers

Saturday, July 1
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Whole Life Festival
Del Mar Fairgrounds:
Hosted by San Diego County Fair
Come visit SDRP Rangers at our booth in the Flower & Garden Show!

Tuesday, July 4
6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Fireworks from the Summit!
Meet at Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve Parking Area:
5.5 miles, moderate/strenuous
Hosted by County of San Diego Parks and Recreation

Saturday, July 8
8:00 am - 11:30 am
Off the Beaten Path with Ranger Doug
Meet at Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve Parking Area:
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Doug

Saturday, July 8
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Hike at Volcan Mountain
Meet at Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve Parking Area:
5.5 miles, moderate/strenuous
Hosted by SDRVC

Saturday, July 8
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Expressive Art-Inspired by Nature Workshop
Meet at VMF's Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Co-hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation and artist Brenda Swaim
$10/person; limited to 15 participants

Sunday, July 9
7:30 am - 12:00 pm
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Hosted by San Dieguito Bird Count Leader Jayne Lesley

Saturday, July 15
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
The Science of Flight
Hosted by SDRVC and Living Coast Discovery Center

Sunday, July 16
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
3 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Bryan Ward

Sunday, July 16
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sunset Yoga Live!
Hosted by SDRVC, Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea, and musician Gregory Lawrence
FREE for Conservancy members; $20 for non-members

Saturday, July 22
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Getting Outdoors: An Introduction to Family Hiking
Co-hosted by San Diego County Parks Staff and VMF Board Member Eric Jones

Sunday, July 23
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wildcrafting: Summer White Sage Wreaths & Smudge Sticks
Meet at VMF's Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation
$20/person; limited to 12 participants

Sunday, July 23
4:00 pm
Falcons and Hawks! The Art of Falconry
Co-hosted by County of San Diego Parks and Recreation and Master Falconer Cisco Cibourne

Sunday, July 30
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Nature Touch Table
Meet at Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve Parking Area:
Hosted by San Diego County Park Rangers

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

For hikes, all mileages are approximate.

Please visit our website for more details and full events calendar.  

Join the Conservancy's  Meetup group to learn more about upcoming hikes and events in the River Park. 


Your membership helps us to fulfill our mission to protect  the San Dieguito Watershed for generations to come.


For more information, please visit these websites:

Latest News & Updates
Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Kicks Off!
Explore some of the San Dieguito River Park's most iconic spots in the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge!

From July 1st, 2017 through June 30th, 2018, complete five iconic San Dieguito River Valley hikes. You can complete them in any order, in your own time, or with the Conservancy-we'll lead five guided hikes (one on each trail) throughout the year.
Each hike has a designated spot where you'll take a selfie. Once you've completed all five hikes, email all your selfies to sdrvc@sdrvc.org for verification.
Everyone who successfully completes the Challenge will receive a special certificate and decal, 20% off coupon from REI, and $10 in Adventure Bucks from Adventure 16 -- plus bragging rights for accomplishing five cool outdoor adventures.
Plus, the first 50 people to complete the Challenge and submit photos for verification will receive an SDRVC cooling towel. And if you share your selfies and hike photos on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #C2CChallenge we'll highlight some of our favorite pics!
Enthusiasts are encouraged to share their selfies and other photos on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #C2CChallenge.
Registration is already full for the first guided hike on Volcan Mountain, but you can register for the remaining guided hikes:
San Dieguito Lagoon - September 23, 2017
Del Dios Gorge - November 11, 2017
Bernardo Mountain Summit - January 20, 2018
Clevenger Canyon South - February 24, 2018
Support the Conservancy at KAABOO!
Big news this month! You may have seen our announcement on Facebook -- but we're thrilled to partner with KAABOO this year! They will donate 20% of the proceeds from tickets purchased through this link to the Conservancy.
KAABOO is a three-day music festival that takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in September. The events and lineup have been curated to appeal to all senses, with world-class music, hilarious comedy, inspiring contemporary art, gourmet cuisine, craft libations, and personal indulgences. Just about everyone will find an act to get excited about in their 2017 lineup.  Get your passes today  and please share our link with your music-loving friends! 

Grant Announcements for the Conservancy
The Conservancy is pleased to announce it has been awarded the following grants:
  • $15,000 from REI
  • $15,000 from The Malk Nature Fund
  • $5,000 Environmental Champions grant from SDG&E
  • $1,300 from The Solana Beach Fund at the Coastal Community Foundation
The grants from REI and The Malk Nature Fund will cover the estimated $30,000 cost of completing the topographical and right-of-way mapping and biological studies for the River Path Del Mar Phase 3 Extension Project.

Phase 3, the final segment of the path, is an approximate ½-mile project that will extend the path from the Grand Avenue Overlook to the Crest Canyon Trail, which will enable users to eventually reach the ocean via the trail through Crest Canyon and the Torrey Pines Reserve Eastern Extension.

The Environmental Champions grant from SDG&E and the grant from The Solana Beach Fund will go towards the Watershed Explorers Experiences Program. The Conservancy is (to date) partnering with Outdoor Outreach, Living Coast Discovery, Sky Hunters, and Ms. Smarty Plants from the San Diego Water Conservation Garden for a series of events to bring more youth from throughout San Diego to the San Dieguito River Valley.

Ribbon Cutting Planned for Completion of Wetland Restoration project
The completion of the construction phase of the wetland restoration project including the Coast to Crest Trail, adjacent to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on Saturday, July 15, at the site south of Jimmy Durante Blvd. Representatives from the 22nd District Agricultural Association, San Dieguito River Park JPA, and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy will speak on behalf of the project.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds (22nd District Agricultural Association) funded the $2.25 million project. It includes the restoration of 9.51 acres of coastal salt marsh habitat and 1.67 acres of upland habitat, and is in compliance with permits from the California Coastal Commission (CCC), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).

The Restoration Project is located just south of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and north of the San Dieguito River in Del Mar and is the culmination of years of coordination with the agencies mentioned above as well as the San Dieguito River Park JPA and Conservancy. The project included soil removal to facilitate appropriate hydrology for wetland restoration and as well, movement of material for restoration of the upland habitat or buffer area. Viewing platforms will be provided at the end of the boardwalk.

Resident Caretaker Wanted for Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead
Are you someone who likes to work outdoors and with their hands? Do you have an RV or trailer? The San Dieguito River Park is looking for highly motivated individuals who are interested in filling the position of Resident Caretaker at Sikes Adobe. 

This position involves twenty hours a week of maintenance and upkeep of the grounds in and around the Sikes Adobe, and potentially helping in various educational and interpretive programs at the site in exchange for rent and utilities. This position is similar to a campground host, and it is important that those who are interested in applying have their own trailer or motorhome to reside in for the duration of their stay. Ideally, applicants should be willing to commit to a stay for at least one year.
If living and working in the heart of the beautiful San Dieguito River Park sounds like something for you or someone you know, please contact Ranger David Vidal at dvidal@sdrp.org.

ESP Registration Still Open
Only 3 spots remain for the 2017 - 2018 Exploring Our Sense of Place Program!

The Exploring Our Sense of Place program allows participants to experience the San Dieguito River Valley in all seasons, to follow its path from mountain to sea, to encounter plant, animal and human inhabitants, and to connect to the River Valley with their heart and minds.  

The ESP program is an 8-session seminar series that includes a reception, 7 excursions with lectures by experts, and special "reflection time." Many ESP explorers say that ESP has been a life-changing experience.

Get more information about the program here and apply here.

Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead Produce
Sikes Adobe is not just a State Point of Historical Interest and a City of San Diego Historical Landmark, it is also a working farm, and this time of year we receive a peak yield from the produce grown in our interpretive kitchen garden and orchard. This year is no exception. Peaches, beets, swiss chard, kale, radishes, cabbage, onions, and carrots of many varieties will often come in at different times in the spring and summer, but they all seem to be present in the garden now.
If you are in the area on a Sunday, please visit the Sikes Produce booth at the North San Diego Certified Farmer's Market from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm at 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido, CA 92025 and take home some of our fresh fruits and vegetables.

Projects like maintaining the farmstead are all volunteer-run. If you are interested in volunteering at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, please contact Ranger David Vidal at dvidal@sdrp.org.

Mountain Kingsnake on Volcan
Recently spotted on Volcan Mountain...Jeff Nordland, Ralph Pace, and Sharyl Massey (Volcan Mountain Foundation Board Member) came upon this Mountain Kingsnake.

Mountain Kingsnakes are non-venomous and native to the region. They are typically found at higher altitudes (above 5,000 feet). They have striking black, red, and off-white rings around their bodies and are often difficult to find because they spend most of their time underground, under objects, or inside rock crevices, especially during hot weather. Your best chance of spotting one yourself may be near a shaded stream on a hot, sunny day.

Photos by Jeff Nordland

Hike Safely & Respect the River Park's Wildlife
We love to see people visiting the River Park and connecting with nature. But it's important to remember we're not the only ones enjoying the natural habitat and resources. Here are some tips to keep in mind to stay safe on the trails and respect the environment:
  • Hike with a friend.  Not only is it a great way to spend time with friends, hiking together is important for safety-one can help if the other gets hurt.
  • Observe wildlife from a distance.  The River Park is home to a variety of animals. When you encounter them-no matter what they are-please leave them be. Don't chase or follow them to get a better look (or better picture), don't feed them, and don't try to touch or handle them.
  • Stay on the trails.  Many areas in the River Park are home to habitat restoration projects or threatened habitat. Stay on the trails to avoid trampling vegetation and damaging wildlife habitat.
  • Be aware of the weather.  In the summer, keep an eye on the heat and UV index. If it's too hot, plan your hike early in the morning or wait a few days until it cools off. Always bring water (or sports drink/electrolytes) and snacks.
  • Keep your dog on a leash.  This is so important for the safety of your dog and for River Park wildlife. Don't let your dog chase other mammals, lizards, or birds. If your dog runs off the trail, he or she could easily encounter a rattlesnake. Also, remember to pick up after your dog. REI has some more tips on hiking with your dog here.
  • Be prepared.  It's a good idea to always have the 10 essentials , but at minimum, bring a trail map (or phone/GPS device), water, and food.

Save the Date! 

Coming Up in July
Watershed Explorers Experiences: Science of Flight
July 15th
The Conservancy invites you to learn what it takes to live in the air! Meet one of Living Coast Discovery Center's raptor ambassadors up-close and discover how feathers, hollow bones, and specially shaped wings adapt birds for flight.

After the presentation, SDRVC will lead participants on an optional, easy, 2-mile round-trip hike around the San Dieguito Lagoon.

When: Saturday, July 15th at 10:00 am
Where: Directions will be provided upon registration
Limited to 50 participants

Sunset Yoga Live!
July 16th
The Conservancy invites you to join us for a special edition of our Yoga at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom!

Susan McCrea, our popular certified yoga instructor, will be leading the class for an hour of yoga that is perfect for people at all levels of experience.

Yogis will be meditating, stretching, reflecting to live music played by Violinist, Violist Performer and Teacher, Gregory Lawrence. Gregory is also the founder of the Cabrillo Chamber Orchestra.

Register here
When: Sunday, July 16th at 10:00 am   
Where: Directions will be provided upon registration
Cost: FREE for Conservancy members; $20 for non-members (join the Conservancy here)
Limited to 50 participants

What Happened in June
Outreach Events
Recently, SDRP Rangers and volunteers have been busy promoting the park's mission throughout the region. For outreach at these events, Rangers and Volunteers set up a river park booth where they use interpretive and educational materials to promote the park's trails, greenways and habitat restoration. Park Rangers recently presented at the Escondido Fire and Water Expo, the Scripps Ranch Community Fair, and on the first of July, they will be at the Whole Life Festival at the San Diego County Fair.

The Escondido Fire and Water Expo was located at the Escondido Fire Station #4 in Kit Carson Park. It was an opportunity to promote the River Park at a very popular event with many in attendance, as well as network with other organizations such as various first responders and volunteers. Escondido Fire, San Diego County Sheriff, and the Forest Fire Lookout Association were all in attendance. It is important that organizations learn the latest techniques for fire and emergency readiness, response, and vigilance. Events such as the 2007 Witch Creek Fire have taught us that.
At the 18th annual Scripps Ranch Community Fair, SDRP Rangers and volunteers had a great time talking to over 300 people who stopped by the booth to learn about the animal skulls we had on display (a unique feature of the River Park booth), get information about our trails, volunteering, and other events, and to spin the prize wheel. We were also able to network with rangers and volunteers from other area parks that were part of the "Green Street" section of the fair.
Lake Hodges Family Adventure: Kayak & Hike
We had a sold out crowd of 36 people join us for our Lake Hodges Family Adventure in June. It was a beautiful day for an easy hike and kayak around Lake Hodges.

Thanks to Outdoor Outreach for partnering with the Conservancy and the San Dieguito Chapter of the National Charity League for volunteering!
Hodges & Horses
The Conservancy hosted a group of animal and nature-lovers last weekend for a special "Hodges & Horses" event. We met at Lake Hodges and took a short hike to nearby Freedom Song Ranch to see some beautiful horses-including a very active foal! 

We enjoyed interacting with the horses and exploring the beautiful property. Thank you Freedom Song Ranch for hosting us!