Daley Ranch—Jack Creek Meadow Trail

Valley Center, California 92082

Daley Ranch—Jack Creek Meadow Trail

Daley Ranch—Jack Creek Meadow Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The nearly flat ramble along sunny Jack Creek Meadow is fine anytime during the cooler months, and is even comfortably suitable during the summer provided you travel in the early morning or late afternoon. If you live or work in inland North County, consider this route for a bit of quick and intense exercise: a speed-walk of perhaps 90 minutes, a 60minute jog, or a 40-minute mountain-bike ride."

More Daley Ranch—Jack Creek Meadow Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"The aptly named Boulder Loop Trail traverses a ridge dotted with gleaming, creamy white granitic boulders. Each boulder has been sculpted into its own unique, often fanciful shape, a product of tens of thousands of years of weathering and erosion. Much of inland San Diego County is underlain by crystalline rocks such as these, which were the result of magma cooling and crystallizing deep underground some 100 million years ago." Read more
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"This trail highlights the Engelmann oak (or mesa oak)—a somewhat rare evergreen oak tree found only in parts of interior Southern California. Along the way you’ll also see the ubiquitous coast live oak, with its characteristic dense and dark green foliage. Engelmanns, with sparser foliage and grayish-green leaves, tolerate dryness better and tend to thrive on high, as well as low, ground. In the ravine bottoms, where subsurface water gathers, the thirstier coast live oaks gather thickly and often manage to exclude other trees." Read more

Daley Ranch—Jack Creek Meadow Trail Reviews

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3/5/2018
Great hike. I chose this hike after a rainstorm. The first quarter of the hike in is all asphalt. There’s a nice picnic area with tables at the ranch house. Porty potty’s are also available. Since Jack Creek is flat and surrounded by Meadows I knew there wouldn’t be a problem with mud. It’s a nice long peaceful walk with some Moderat Hills.
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10/3/2011
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12/3/2008
Steep and tough for the first 1/2 mile...then it gets beautiful. I highly recommend the Rock Creek single-track cut-through. Downhill the last 3/4 mile is breathtaking.
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10/18/2008
The north end of Daley Ranch is less utlized than the portions near Dixon Lake, probably because it's a little harder to reach from the main parking lot and the the north trail head is accessed via a winding dirt road. But the extra effort pays off with fewer hikers, bikers and equestrians as well as beautiful oaks, meadows and roller coaster-like ridge lines.

The Engelmann Oak trail is certainly one of the nicer hikes at Daley Ranch (the Boulder Loop is also high on my list of "must do's" when visting there) in that you are presented with an almost perfect combination of steep climbs and flats which permits you to catch your breath without stopping.

The guide is pretty accurate in it's description of the hike, but be sure to take a detour through the Bobcat trail to see one of the largest oaks in the area. Some folks call it "The General" and its imposing size warrants a salute and appreciation.

One of the hikes you should consider is start at the northern entrance and hike the entire length of Daley Ranch to its main parking area where you've left another vehicle. The Engelmann Oak Trail will be a major portion of the first miles you undertake.

If you're at Daley, don't miss this lovely section of the park.
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Trail Information

Valley Center
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
5.6
Distance
500 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2.5 hours
Duration
All year
Season
Daley Ranch
Local Contacts
USGS Valley Center
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018