||Blue Sky Ecological Reserve/Lake Poway is located about 25 miles north of San Diego, just off Espola Road, between Poway and Rancho Bernardo. We'll start the hike at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, then hike up to and all around Lake Poway. You'll find the entrance, and some off-road parking, along the east side of Espola Road, just south of its big bend toward Rancho Bernardo and 0.6 miles north of Lake Poway Road.
||If hikers leave from the Hillcrest carpool area about 9:15 am, they'll arrive at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve around 9:45 am. We'll start hiking at 10 am. It's about a 3 hr.roundtrip hike, plus a lunch break at the Lake Poway recreational area, where there's a boat dock/marina, picnic tables and grassy knolls under the trees. The hike is of moderate difficulty with a 500' elevation gain/loss. Hike distance is about 5 miles. Dogs on leash are allowed.
This hike destination is in the coastal foothills. You hike in along an unpaved truck trail thru the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. It's one of the best examples of riparian woodland (flora and fauna found in canyon-bottom/creekside areas) in San Diego County. From there, you hike south along the creek, thru a primitive campground, up to the Lake Poway dam, where you enter the loop trail. The 2.5 mile loop trail around Lake Poway has a good mix of flats, gentle hills, and a few fairly steep switchbacks. It's also an interpretive trail, passing thru 4 distinct plant communities: sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodland, and riparian woodland.
We last did this hike in Sept. of 1999. Click here to view those 9/19/99 hike photos in 2 .pdf files. You'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files. If you don't have it, click here to download it for free from Adobe's website.
For more detailed info. on the area, refer to "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 1998 Edition, Area C-3: Poway, Trips 1 & 2, pp.72-75. Also, check out our Maps of the area for more details.