Phone: (858) 581-9944
Hike: 4.1 miles out and back Level: easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park is a fun nature hike with plenty of medicinal and edible plants to study and photograph. The interpretive center has sadly been closed every time I’ve visited so I will have to go back one day when it’s opened!
In the springtime this area is bursting with wildflowers and greenery. Such a beautiful time to be out here! It also has a rich history with the Kumeyaay, dating back thousands of years as a place of food and shelter for their people.
Tecolote, or owl in Spanish, was the given name of this area after the Spanish invasion. Owls are commonly found in the area.
There is an annual event held here called “Baskets and Botany,” which is a day for families to share the environmental and cultural connections of Tecolote Canyon. This is a great opportunity to learn from the Kumeyaay people and understand their culture a little more.
The event has a large emphasis on plant knowledge and their medicinal and edible uses. You can learn more about the Kumeyaay people and how to support them here.
Judge Hyde was one of the first settlers on this land and began farming in the Tecolote Canyon in 1872. Back then cattle grazed the land and rich soil provided tasty vegetables for their family.
In 1978, the City of San Diego purchased this land and officially named it Tecolote Canyon Natural Park. With the help of park rangers, the community has helped to preserve and protect this canyon.
Today, you can find a nature center filled with educational props and exhibits and 6.5 miles of trails for biking, hiking, bird-watching and nature-loving.
We saw bike jumps along the Battle Trail:
I fell in LOVE with this amazing tree!
Elderberry! Check out our page on how to identify and cook with this berry here!