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Sage, Cougar Ridge and Boulder Trail Loop

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Daley Ranch

Sage, Cougar Ridge and Boulder Trail Loop is a 10.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Escondido, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,469 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

partially paved

views

wildlife

fee

Daley Ranch is a 3,058-acre conservation area acquired in 1996 by the City of Escondido and is managed in perpetuity for the preservation of a biologically unique and diverse habitat area of regional importance. Visitors enjoy a variety of recreational and educational opportunities and experiences in a historically significant setting. The property contains a number of natural vegetation communities including lush oak woodlands, coastal sage scrub and chaparral, grasslands, and riparian areas. Approximately 1.5 miles from the La Honda entry is the redwood ranch house (currently a private caretaker's residence), redwood barn, and numerous outbuildings of historical interest. Daley Ranch offers over 20 miles of multipurpose trails for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use. Six distinct trails cover most of the property. Most popular are the Boulder Loop Trail (2.4 miles) which affords outstanding views of Escondido, and the Ranch House Loop (2.5 miles), which passes two small ponds and the site of Daley's original log cabin. $5 to park For more information about the park entrances: http://daleyranch.org/explore/entrances-driving-directions/

hiking
16 days ago

Trails here are really well maintained. Some are definitely more popular that others, but there’s generally not a lot of people on the non-paved trails (avoid going to the house if avoiding people). This is one of my favorite local spots to go to. But be warned, bring water! It gets hot.

hiking
bugs
no shade
1 month ago

I love hiking at Daley Ranch but hadn’t explored this section of the land yet. It was well worth it! The views were wonderful. I saw a couple coyotes, some rabbits, and many squirrels. Lots of blooming flowers as well. There is a steep climb to start and then blissful marching along the ridge for quite awhile. Bring a good hat and plenty of water as there is minimal shade.

Long relaxing trail, not hard at all, there are only two continuous climbing section, both of them are not too long. The view is great, sometimes you can find small creek runs along the trail, it can be a little bit muddy but that’s a lot fun. Beware of the poison oak, if you stay on trail it should be fine, otherwise it can be problematic.

CLOSED. Blockades up and no parking anywhere. (covid)

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Trail head starts near Dixon Lake. Dirt lot parking, and lots of it. Adventure pass is not needed. No bathrooms at trailhead. I did the loop clockwise and although there were a lot of people out and about, I rarely saw anyone on the trail with me. Passed just a couple of people during my hike. The trail is well maintained and clear and easy to follow. Even with out a map. Although I suggest one, many trails join throughout this area and it would be extremely easy to get lost. Weather was great, sunny but not overbearing, cool breeze every once in awhile. Both lakes were pretty full and the views from the ridgeline are so beautiful. Once back in the meadow, still beautiful. Peaceful day on the this great trail, Would def. return. First time on this trail, second time to Daley Ranch area.

I really recommend going here its a beautiful and relatively easy hike! A lot of beautiful trees everywhere and views as well!

hiking
6 months ago

Trail is well marked. It has many twists and turns for you to shorten your trip if needed. We started from El Caballo entrance. Walked up to RB Old Water Tank, then along a meadow all the way up to Cougar Ridge Trail. Stopped to rest at a large covered area before heading down to La Honda Drive entrance. Few people and cyclists around this time of the year.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

mountain biking
bridge out
10 months ago

great ridege,. I leave close so rode to trail holiday it gets packed.

mountain biking
bridge out
10 months ago

holiday no parking,. o live close by so I rode bike to the trail,. great spot.

mountain biking
rocky
10 months ago

AWESOME loop! Tons of great climbs, couple walkers. The reward if you start on the right side on the loop, go around to the left is the downhill section... it's fun. No jumps or anything just fun climbing and downhill.

hiking
Mon Apr 08 2019

I went to the humane society and next thing I know is a am hiking up this trail. Found a cool pond and walked down to lake Dixon. Beautiful trail..

Sat Apr 06 2019

Lived in SD for 8 years and never heard of this place. Loved it!

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2019

Best hike yet. Lots of hills and nature.

Sat Mar 23 2019

great place to get nice views over the valley, and views of Palomar mountain. Nice and tucked away on the west side of Daley ranch. easy to shorten and lengthen the hike. lots if shade and beutfiul landscape

Sun Jan 06 2019

Great hike with lots of options to shorten or lengthen the adventure. Wildlife and amazing views year round.

mountain biking
Sat Dec 29 2018

Epic fun ride, great views, lots of climbing! Hidden Spring is a technical climb. I walked most of it. Overall, it was fun, flowy, and challenging, great for mountain biking. This is my 4th time at Daley Ranch exploring trails. Will do this again starting the opposite direction

hiking
Tue Dec 25 2018

Parking can be difficult, but I never had to pay. Great for trail-running, hiking, or walking. Shady canyons and big views from rocky outcrops. Plenty of elevation change for a good challenge.

hiking
Mon Nov 26 2018

Easy to moderate 10 mile hike that is an easy drive from Vista. You need a map or GPS as some routes aren't marked well. Saw a few bikes at the beginning, but few people after that. Overall a good day.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

Got a little lost, would highly suggest keeping a map close by. Great hike overall. Little hidden ponds were fun to find.

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

This was a great hike. A good workout but not too hard. It feels way out there but really just a few minutes off the freeway. Pay close attention to the trail markers to stay on the 10 mile loop. We got lost the first time we did this and ended up hiking a total of 14 miles because we had taken a wrong turn at some point.

hiking
Sun Aug 05 2018

Fun, beautiful hike! We saw many coyotes and rabbits! Very scenic and lots of shade. I would definitely recommend to others who are looking for a long, somewhat challenging at times, hike!

Mon Jul 02 2018

amazing placer

hiking
Sat Jun 09 2018

Mon Jun 04 2018

Take plenty of water and make sure to wear sun screen. Not a lot of shade but overall a great place to go hiking.

Fri May 18 2018

Excellent trail. Take a map if you haven't hiked it before. Go early, take plenty of water. Have fun!

hiking
Sun May 13 2018

Great trail with lots of options to go in different directions. We hiked a total of 7.9 miles and went up Stanley Peak which is 0.7 miles out and back to the top with nice views overlooking Escondido. Lots of elevation for a good workout plus different types of scenery, which alternated from being woodsy to a more sage brush environment.

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