San Clemente Canyon Trail

University City, California

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1 Review
3 out of 5
Eastbound in the right lane of Highway 52, the San Clemente Canyon Freeway, you can look down upon a long, slender, almost unbroken swath of natural vegetation: massive sycamores, stately live oaks, climbing vines, and tangled shrubs. This is one of San Diego County’s best examples of riparian, or stream-loving, vegetation. (Recall that less than 0.2% of the county’s land area consists of this type of vegetation.) The decision to route the freeway well above the canyon bottom and spare the trees, at somewhat added cost, was a happy one indeed. Much of San Clemente Canyon and several of its steep finger canyons are included within the boundaries of Marian Bear Natural Park, an area the city of San Diego set aside as natural open space. Facilities include parking areas, picnic tables, and restrooms off Regents Road and Genesee Ave., and resting benches elsewhere. What’s missing, unfortunately, is the important element of silence. If you come here early on a Sunday morning, however, noise from the adjacent freeway is not particularly objectionable.

San Clemente Canyon Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Eastbound in the right lane of Highway 52, the San Clemente Canyon Freeway, you can look down upon a long, slender, almost unbroken swath of natural vegetation: massive sycamores, stately live oaks, climbing vines, and tangled shrubs. This is one of San Diego County’s best examples of riparian, or stream-loving, vegetation. (Recall that less than 0.2% of the county’s land area consists of this type of vegetation.) The decision to route the freeway well above the canyon bottom and spare the trees, at somewhat added cost, was a happy one indeed. Much of San Clemente Canyon and several of its steep finger canyons are included within the boundaries of Marian Bear Natural Park, an area the city of San Diego set aside as natural open space. Facilities include parking areas, picnic tables, and restrooms off Regents Road and Genesee Ave., and resting benches elsewhere. What’s missing, unfortunately, is the important element of silence. If you come here early on a Sunday morning, however, noise from the adjacent freeway is not particularly objectionable."

Activity Type: Hiking, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: University City
Distance: 6
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Season: All year
Accessibility: Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Marian Bear Natural Park
Local Maps: USGS La Jolla
Driving Directions: Directions to San Clemente Canyon Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

10/16/2009
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May 2018