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Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Trail

EASY 150 reviews

Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 101 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


horseback riding

nature trips



partially paved


wild flowers



This is a well-cared for trail...signs identifying flowers and tree species, docent tours...there's even an upcoming scavenger hunt! Make sure to take a photo on your phone of the trail...there are some side jaunts and connections to other trails that are a pinch confusing for first-timers.

1 month ago

Easy trail. My dogs really enjoyed it.

Decent hike for the whole family.

2 months ago

This is great! Easy, open, easy to find parking!

3 months ago

It's very scenic. Beautiful vegetation. Loved the greenary.

This trail is moderate in difficulty. Beautiful shaded trail through the woods that leads to an unshaded part of the trail which leads to Lake Poway or lake Ramona. Watch out for bee swarms and rattlesnakes.

5 months ago

Easy trail. shade.

Lovely trail. Did it in the middle of the day on a Tuesday and saw maximum 10 people. Wonderful wildflowers on the slope up to the dam right now!

7 months ago

Beautiful . Lots of woodpeckers and shade.

8 months ago

Do not park on the road out side of the trail entrance. It’s a Poway City ticket trap. There were about 20 plus cars ticketed today for parking in a bike lane that looks like extra parking. The bike lane is wide enough to be extra parking and everyone thinks that. There are no signs anywhere saying do not park. It’s not nice what Poway is doing there. People go on a wonderful hike to come back to a ticket. The hike is great. Trails are wide. Dogs are on leashes. Just please leave if you can’t get a parking spot. Not worth hiking there to come back to a ticket.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Took some pole with us and fished, went for a dip after that last stretch incline. Fun hike, shade and not much traffic at all. Recommended

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Not much to see but a good cardio workout, especially the last 1/3. Up, up, up!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

First time here, did a short version due to the heat but real enjoyable. Hiked with Leah, JP and Tyler.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Great mix of length and slope, with interesting things to see. Go beyond the dam and you'll find banana trees and bee hives..

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I absolutely loathed this one. I wouldn’t call this a hike. The walk from the parking lot to the reserve is a very nice and shaded stroll...but it opens to a very exposed reserve. Its very dusty and steep at times. Its a rather short trek and the end is very steep pavement that ends at the fenced off reservoir. The views aren't worth the strain, you're better off going to the park a little ways down the road where there are multiple trails between Mt. Woodson and Lake Romona.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Whoever wrote this trail features hot springs is mistaken. There are no hot springs in this area. However, it is one of the few trails in San Diego county that feature lots and lots of trees. Interesting in that the majority of Blue Sky is owned by the state, with the city of Poway owning the parking lot and the first part of the trail and the county of San Diego owning the back part of the the trail. Best option is to take the branch of the trail leading to Lake Poway. Just below the dam is one of the best tree covered and isolated picnic areas in the county, complete with rest rooms. Early in the morning there are mule deer around an adjacent stream near the west base of the dam. On hot summer days I have seen rattlesnakes in this area, so use caution and keep those dogs on a leash. No bicycles allowed in Blue Sky.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Great and easy hike!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Like this hike but I have not gone up to Ramona yet, we Always turn off and head up to do the Lake Poway Loop trail prior to heading back. There is a lot of poison oak but if you stay on the trail you will be fine. About a mile in turn right on the trail up to Lake Poway and there is a little picnic area on the right with flush toilets. After that the hike up to the Lake is pretty steep but rewarding once you hit the top. Stop in the beautiful grassy picnic areas and enjoy the view and shade. We take our dogs on this and they love it.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Fun enjoyable hike. Steep and paved at the end. Friendly folks all along the way. Explore out to Poway lake if you like on a connecting trail.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Like one of the other reviewers this isn't the kind of hike I usually go for but I definitely think one star is a bit harsh. This is a long, mild, gradually sloping dirt road hike with a nice steep, asphalt slope at the end. There are porta-pottys at the beginning and the end and dogs are welcome. This is a nice, rock free walk with the potential to get your blood pumping if you go all the way to the top.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This trail featured tall, gorgeous, trees of shade and a variety of wildlife! Some of the animals encountered on the reserve during our visit include: coyotes, woodpeckers, squirrels, hawks, and a covey of quail. Picnic areas were available further into the park and I noticed a lot of local events are scheduled throughout the month when I was reviewing some of their pamphlets. Although, the incline is not very intense-- do expect that you will be hiking upwards further into the trail. This trail would also be a great place to take your dog (on leash) or have them participate in group dog walking events!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

One of the most fun hikes I've done in San Diego; the first mile or so is not difficult but is really cool and fun to walk through (its also a really easy mile run). After the first mile if you continue towards Lake Ramona, it gets steeper and more challenging but it's still really fun and you're completely surrounded by nature. Once you get to the top its an awesome view with one of the cleanest lakes I have ever seen; you can't swim in the lake but if its summer, I would take the risk:) It takes about 40-45 minutes to get up and then about 40-45 down if you're walking at a steady, somewhat brisk pace with little to no breaks. It's definitely family/dog friendly and the people on the trail are usually really nice so make sure to say hi!! I hope you enjoy it:)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Of the brief time I have been hiking this is my least favorite trail. Most of the trail is nice and a lot of nature to see but the last part hiking up the asphault road, on the back side of the dam was unexpected and not what "I" go on hikes for. This is just my opinion.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A very nice trail for families and their four legged companions. Lots of shady trees for the first 1.5 miles and then a semi switchback with a moderate grade up to the Ramona Lake Dam. I observed several Coyotes in the afternoon hours, so I highly suggest small dogs remain on leashes.

6 days ago

9 days ago

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