Explore the most popular trails in Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful views of the canyon. The wildflowers were in full bloom. However, most of trail was service road and not really “hiking”. Overall it was relatively a smooth trail with a few areas of challenging inclines. There is no shade so be prepared. Overall a good workout with the longer distance (my app said 6.9 miles) .

hiking
23 days ago

great loop trail, path is easy to follow and lots of flowers qnd scenery. recommend lots of water

Absolutely beautiful hike with multiple types of elevation changes. I recommend this hike in the early morning hours or on a cool day as there isn’t much for shade along the trail. Bring more water than you think. There’s a rangers station down in the valley next to an old burned out house that was built back in the 1930’s but burnt in the 2003 Cedar Fire. I will definitely be back to explore more of the trails in the area.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Awesome hike because there was almost nobody! Lots of rabbits and birds, and wildflowers from yellow to purple. Overall really nice. Started at noon on Saturday so it got quite warm when the sun was out, would recommend starting earlier during summer because there’s no shade. The views from the ridge trail are simply amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike, lots of flowers near the trailhead at the end of Garden road. Cardiac hill was a moderate incline for a good heart pumping workout. Only saw about 6 other hikers on a Saturday morning! A good alternative to Iron Mtn.

Great long hike that has a variety of views! When you start there are beautiful flowers, then you move into the areas that were burned in the fire awhile back. There’s a lake you’ll pass by, and eventually a ranger station with the remains of a burnt down house. The are areas that are steep, so it’s a good workout but it’s not overly strenuous as a whole.

Lots of wildflowers!!! Including poppies!!!! Loving this spring weather in San Diego. This hike isn’t very busy. Compact dirt road to parking lot/trailhead. Don’t be intimidated by the name “cardiac hill”.

Such beautiful trail!!! Because of the rains the wild flowers are everywhere. I went the day after a good rain and the trail crossed several streams of water, which added to the beauty of it. Moderate is a good rating because there are some sections that can be a bit challenging but for the most part, is easy and enjoyable, especially near Martha’s oak.

hiking
muddy
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
no shade
3 months ago

This is a wonderful place for a winter hike! Lots of running water - a few places where it overruns the trail but totally manageable. Tons of pretty green, flowers are already beginning to bloom. The mountains were beautiful but not overexhausting. Could definitely see no cover being an issue in the warmer months but loved it for winter.

This trail was nice with a mix of long flat stretches, and sweat worthy climbs to get to the top. I appreciated that it was pretty deserted, we only came across a couple people, so it was easy to enjoy the quiet of nature.

A nice hike. The fine loose gravel made traction difficult at times, but it was not strenuous (I’m not in great shape, either). Gradual climbs and lots of flat trail areas. We were the only people out there except two people on horses.

it was awesome but a little busy and lots of bike riders

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail! Had my 20 month old on my back the whole time and it was great! Definitely could see how the heat would be too much in the summer, but I went in December so it wasn't too bad.

really great spot. it is further from the trailheads on 92 which makes it less used. there is a big bump and grate at entrance to the parking area. I took the trail which is a bit of a rocky climb and a lot of decent. There were lots of tracks from humans, bikes, horses, dogs and wild life but aside from the horses leaving when I arrived I didn't encounter another soul on a cool Friday afternoon. there is a long flat part that I think are wildflower fields. I need to come back in spring. when you hit the main dirt road for the return you can go .2 miles the other way yo the western connect and then parallel the main but on a single track for all but .8 miles of the return. steep hills on the last half mile to the parking area.

Started at 2pm on a gorgeous day in December. Loved this hike/trail run, there is a small visitor center to view an informative center with a bathroom, park staff and water. Loved the trail and even the part where it is a gravel road with a view. Next time I am bringing my bike to do the Martha Grove trail (it is a one way direction).

first hike of our season. It's a burner. I'm way out of shape and this trail prove it. It's great in the am hours.

Little to no shade for the most part. Starts out as a wide road then narrows as you head back. Gets very hot, very quick. Recommend lots of water for the pups.

hiking
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This place is a hidden gem! I happened to find it because my dog’s groomer lives nearby and I saw the signs. My friend and I went on a 7.9 mile hike. We took Martha’s Grove Trail to Ridge Trail and then went to a trail on the left that went straight uphill (veering away from the military base) to the Hwy 67 Ranger Station and then down Cardiac Hill back to the Goodan Ranch starting point. The hike along the hilltop was awesome. We climbed over 120 flights on this hike so it’s a great workout. The scenery is constantly changing and we saw tons of wildlife. We saw mostly rabbits and large hares (with the biggest ears I had ever seen). We also saw a coyote. There was hardly anyone on the trail which was awesome because you really felt like you were getting away.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

one of my favorite hikes in San Diego County. So nice to be hiking for four and a half to 5 miles and find a beautiful Visitor Center with information about local species and nature and a ranger there to chat with.

hiking
Saturday, April 14, 2018

Great hike! Gate opens at 8am. The trail paths are wide making it easy to hike with a large group. The trail loops and towards the end of the hike, it is all incline so be prepared. Also, there is hardly any shade so wear a hat and use lots of sunscreen.

hiking
Sunday, April 01, 2018

Great for trail running. A lot of different options here also. Look for "Cardiac Hill." There is 0 shade anywhere so make sure to bring water and wear sunscreen. I'll definitely be going back. I linked up with the trail that overlooks the 67, the ridgeline trail I think? I saw deer in the middle of the day. Very rare in SD.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Great hike. There is a ranger station to use the restroom and refill water close to the end.

hiking
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Great cool morning hike!

hiking
Saturday, February 03, 2018

Great area to take your dogs. Go early. No shade. Nice views.

hiking
Sunday, January 07, 2018

This place offers some challenging hills but some nice straight always as well. Good hike! Not to be done in the heat. No shade.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Great hike! Little bit of everything. This hike has some single track, some elevation, some Ridge, and some great views.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

awesome trails

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cardiac Hill closed now because of rains. Hike is nice but walk from Visitor Center to parking lot is in open land and no shade so know that. Pretty views from trail that runs up the hill.

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