Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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12122 Canyonside Park Dr.
San Diego, CA 92129

Phone: (858) 484-7504
32.940016, -117.139275

Dog-Friendly: Outside, yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes



Adobe Grounds and Trails: 8 a.m. to sunset, 7 days a week
Adobe House Museum: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday – Tuesday
Guided Adobe House Tours: 11 a.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. on Sunday (and by request)
Self-Guided Adobe House Tours: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday – Tuesday

About the Rancho Penasquitos Adobe

The Rancho Peñasquitos Adobe is located within the Los Peñasquitos Canyon and is most notable as the second oldest colonial structure in San Diego County. Built in 1823, the adobe was the recipient of the first Mexican land grant in San Diego County, given in 1823 to Francisco María Ruiz.  This is probably where the Camino Ruiz trail got its name, which is connected to this canyon.

This adobe was built near the Kumeyaay settlement of Awil Nyawa. This seems to have always been the unfortunate case, where colonizers would close in on the Indigenous People’s villages, utilizing their knowledge of the best areas to build homes.

In 1837, Ruiz sold his ranch to Francisco María Alvarado – a grandnephew. After Ruiz died in 1839, Alvarado moved to the ranch, and lived in the adobe home built by Ruiz.

Alvarado married Tomasa Pico (1801 – 1876), and they gave the property to their daughter Maria Estéfana Alvarado (1840 – 1926) when she married Captain George Alonzo Johnson (1823 – 1903) in 1859. Capt. Johnson inherited the ranch by the time the U.S. government granted a patent to the land in 1876.

Beyond being a home, the ranch was also a way station on the wagon road to Warner’s Ranch from San Diego via San Pasqual and Santa Ysabel Asistencia, from the 1840s.

From 1857 to 1860 the rancho was a way station on that road for the coaches of the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line on the 125 mile route between San Diego and Carrizo Creek Station. Passengers were given meals here, served by the lady of the house.

While you’re in the area, make sure to hike the Camino Ruiz Trail nearby!

This is one of the trailheads to the Rancho Penasquitos waterfall and you can also hike to Eichar’s Grave from here. There is also a community garden here, which costs $120/year and sweet farm animals you can visit!  Call 858-484-7504 to see if there are any available spaces for your own garden!

More than 10 miles of non-motorized multi-use trails
Staging area
Historic Adobe Ranch House
Community garden
Weddings and special event spaces

rancho penaquitos adobe

Visit the Rancho Penasquitos Adobe, one of San Diego's oldest homes, now turned into a museum.

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2 Reviews


  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    this is the one faze rug explored numerous times and he got on camera a little gitl scream inside of it with his brother. it is on youtube

    January 2, 2017

  • irene segade
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I would like to know the name of the First Nation people who inhabited the area in Penasquitos before the Mexicans came to build the ranch house? Can you provide those name(s)? Thank you.

    April 17, 2019

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