San Diego Trail Tramps ~ Scheduled Hikes for 2012

  Oak Oasis (Oakoasis) Open Space Preserve - Lakeside, CA

Date:  Sunday, May 20, 2012  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (There will also be a Post-Hike Pool Party & BBQ at members' ranch in Lakeside)

Location: 25 miles E/NE of San Diego/Hillcrest, just off Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside

Drive east on Hwy. 8, north on Hwy. 67. Turn east (right) on Maple View Street where the freeway portion of Highway 67 ends (a traffic light). Go 0.3 miles on Maple View, turn left (north) on Ashwood (which becomes Wildcat Canyon). Proceed 4.2 miles (according to the roadside mile markers) to the driveway of "Oakoasis Preserve" on the left. At 0.1 mile ahead, there's a parking lot and the trailhead on the right . Address is 12620 Wildcat Canyon Rd.,Lakeside, CA 92040, in case you'd like to Google-map the route. The trailhead is at latitude/longitude 32° 54.765'N 116° 53.229'W. The Preserve is open from 9:30 AM to sunset on weekends (to 5:30 p.m. weekdays).

When hikers depart from the Hillcrest carpool area at 9:00 AM, they should arrive at the trailhead parking lot at about 9:30 AM, when the gates open. After a final sign-in with our group and last minute updates by our hike leaders, we'll begin the hike shortly after 10:00 AM

Background info.:
The Oakoasis Open Space Preserve acreage was a gift to the county from the Margaret Minshall Family in the late 1980s. Margaret Minshall had been a physical education teacher at Hoover High School, built a cabin here in 1936 and in the 1940's operated a girls summer camp with horseback riding. Her old cabin burned in the 2003 Cedar fire, which consumed 95 percent of this preserve. Today, the oak trees are spreading their shade again, and recovery appears well under way.

With 397 acres of chaparral and woodlands to explore, horses and dogs on leash are OK, but no bikes. For information on all County Parks call 694-3049. There are beautiful areas of ceanothus and oak groves, meadows, granite outcrops, overlooks of San Vicente Reservoir and lots of birds. As part of the projected Pines-to-Spines trans-county trail system that will ultimately go all the way from the Torrey Pines State Reserve to Anza-Borrego Desert, it’s isolated enough to allow you to see more wildlife and few other hikers.

Hike Description:
From the parking area, begin on the trail head marked Trans-County Trail. Trails are well marked. The Oak Oasis trail is about an hour and a half (plus break times), 3.16 mile loop through oak riparian and chaparral habitats. Elevation gain/loss is 673'. Basically you're headed counter-clockwise on the loop, avoiding short spur trails. About .25 mile in, the trail veers to the right through high shrubs, such as mountain lilac (ceanothus). When you hit the first T-intersection in the trail, it looks like a marker points to the right, but ignore that and turn left. (The right turn is not the trail; it goes to a private residence.)

The trail then heads up a dirt road into the oaks area, and there are plenty of them. In their midst is a cabin, and just beyond there the trail winds upward around the hill, with excellent views of San Vicente Reservoir. You have a couple of options — a trail to the left heading up for another lake view, to the right winding around the hill into an open meadow and back to the main trail (just keep going right and follow the trail signs).

Just after a rest bench, you will encounter another intersection, this one with a marker pointing left for the Trans-County Trail, and right for “Trail.” Take the right turn for “Trail.” Generally you will want to follow the signs for “Trail,” since the Trans-County Trail isn't part of this loop. Soon you will be in that oak oasis.

Shortly after the oak oasis, you'll hit another marked intersection. “Trail” goes left while “Upper Meadow” goes right — turn right to Upper Meadow. It's a little steep here, but worth the views.

At the top of the ridge is a short spur marked “Scenic Outlook.” Take this trail for the best views of the San Vicente Reservoir.
Continue on the main trail, and now you'll keep following signs, heading right in that counter-clockwise loop. You'll finally encounter a field of lavender-blooming lupine just before you go back into the oak oasis area. Follow the last markers to “Parking” and you'll reach your car.

A moving, Google Earth 3D model of the hike is available at the bottom of this page!

Misc. info:
The Gay Bowling League will be joining the San Diego Trail Tramps for today's hike and post-hike festivities! After the hike there will be a Pool Party and BBQ at the Lakeside ranch of two of our members, only 5 miles down the road from the hike trailhead. Bocce ball, horseshoes and badminton will be available.  Pool and hot tub will be available rain or shine.  Remember your towel and sunscreen.  10 acres are available for those who need to do more hiking (vertical)....(indoor area and barns also available if rain), and their 3 horses will be in the corral out front to greet you. ;^ )

The post hike pool party/cookout will start at 1 PM at the ranch. For the cookout, the hosts are providing beef, turkey and veggie burgers and all the fixins.  Trail Tramps are asked to bring side dishes and bowlers will bring appetizers to share.  BYOB (your beverage of choice).  Water will be available.  Watermelon for dessert.

Please refer to our group email for the formal invitation, with more details on the post-hike gathering and ranch location/directions.

Google Earth 3D Model of this hike!:
Google Earth streams the world over wired and wireless networks enabling users to virtually go anywhere on the planet and see places in photographic detail. This is not like any map you have ever seen. This is a 3D model of the real world, based on real satellite images combined with maps, guides to restaurants, hotels, entertainment, businesses and more. You can zoom from space to street level instantly and then pan or jump from place to place, city to city, even country to country.

Below is the Google Earth .kmz file for the hike itself. To preview a 3D model of this actual hike in Google Earth, right click on the link and save the file to your desktop. Then double click that desktop file and it should launch Google Earth if you already have Google Earth installed on your computer. (If you do not have the free Google Earth application already installed, first go to

After Google Earth launches, scroll down to the bottom of the "Places" column on the left and locate the hike file "Oakoasis Open Space Preserve Loop Hike.kmz" in the "Temporary Places" folder. Click the side arrow to the left of "Oakoasis Open Space Preserve Loop Hike.kmz" to expose the "Oakoasis Open Space Preserve Loop Hike" tour file. Then select that file, and click on the triangular "Play Tour" button just below and to the right of it. Then just sit back and enjoy as you fly over the trail along the hike!

Oakoasis Open Space Preserve Loop Hike.kmz

If you'd like to check out the elevation profile of the hike, just right-click the "Oakoasis Open Space Preserve Loop Hike" file and select "Show Elevation Profile" (very cool app!). Move your cursor over the profile and watch the arrow move along the loop hike to determine the altitude at any point. Wow!