San Diego Trail Tramps

San Pasqual Hiking Trails, Clevenger Canyon South - East Fork Trail



Date:  Sunday, April 17th, 2016  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Location: East End of San Pasqual Valley, in Clevenger Canyon, East of Escondido

Directions: To get to San Pasqual and Clevenger Canyon from San Diego, take 163 north (It turns into I-15.) towards Escondido. Exit at Via Rancho Parkway and travel east. Turn right on San Pasqual Valley Road and follow signs to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The southern trail head is located 5.3 miles from San Diego Zoo Safari Park, on the right, and the northern trail head is another .5 miles ahead on the left. Parking lots are open from sunrise to sunset.

Pull off into the parking area on the south side of the road for the southern trailhead. This is the South Clevenger Canyon Trail Staging Area. It comes up fast, so watch for it as you're driving up the hill. After hikers leave from the Hillcrest carpool at 9:00 AM, we'll plan to meet around 10:00 AM to start the hike. Check out our Maps section for more directions on how to get there.


Below are two photos of our group having lunch at the top of the Clevenger Cyn South - East Fork Trail on May 4, 2003.


Hike Description: A 13-mile network of hiking trails was opened here in the fall of 1991. On a clear day, the coast-to-mountain views can be stunning on these trails. We'll pick up the trailhead from the parking lot on the south side of Highway 78, 5.3 miles east of the San Diego Wild Animal Park entrance. (The East Fork is a strenuous 2.2 miles to the top.) Elevation gain/loss ~1000 feet.




Summit chairs with a view on the Clevenger Canyon South - East Fork Trail

We'll zigzag 0.6 miles to the first marked trail junction, then take the left branch, which goes down into a spooky ravine, then ascends to a 1755-foot viewpoint for another view to the west. Continuing straight on the trail leads to a 1635-foot "bump" on a ridge half a mile northeast. During our lunch break there, we'll get a really stupendous view of upper San Pasqual Valley, a slice of ocean horizon in the west, and the distant mountains to the east.



The San Pasqual Valley