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Blue Sky Ecological Reserve

View this trail on the brand new


Riparian Forest full of Oak and other shade trees
Near:Poway, CA
Distance:2.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:150 ft
Hike Time:1.5 hours
Trail Condition:Fire road/pavement
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary:  Nestled on the western slopes of Mt. Woodson, the 470 acre Blue Sky Ecological Reserve holds a bounty of natural sights and sounds.
Established in October 1989 as a natural habitat, Blue Sky features several rare and threatened plant and animal species. In short succession, a hiker can find riparian, oak woodland, mixed chaparral, and coastal sage scrub environments. Each ecosystem holds its own special variety of wild life, and the closeness of these habitats allows a great diversity of species to exist together in harmony.
This hike is especially pleasant during sunny, warm days, as the deep shade from the tree canopy keeps the creek bed relatively cool.

Trailhead:  Off I-15 take the Rancho Bernardo Road exit heading East. After a few miles this turns into Espola Road. The Blue Sky Ecological Reserve parking area is 3.5 miles from the I-15 exit on the left (west) side. (Lat:33.0162 Lon:-117.0235)
Trail Guides for Blue Sky Ecological Reserve:
Best Easy DayHikes San Diego
by Sean OBrien (Falcon)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Reserve Office 858-668-4781
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted  56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 2 of 3   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Leanne on 4/18/2008
The trail has been reopened and it is beautiful. The fire left some damage to the large trees but it opened up the views of the stream, plus the wildflowers are everywhere and gorgeous.

Reviewed by look out! on 3/31/2008
the trail is closed until further notice

Reviewed by Viewer on 2/25/2007
This hike was awesome. I hiked up to Ramona Lake. The first half was flat and in a wooded area and the second half opens up to walk up the hill to some beautiful views. It was so peaceful at the top. I would definately do it again. You get an all around hike with this one.

Reviewed by Gisela on 7/14/2006
This is a great Hike to take on a sunny day because of all the shady trees. If you take the take the Lake Ramona trail that leads to the dam just be ready for a challenge, at the beginning of this dirt road is pretty much where a strenuos hike uphill with no shade starts - but the view is worth the hike if you ask me. And parts of the Shady Creek trail have grown over with thorny weeds so it may be difficult to walk through. The Main trail is great and easy to find, Def recommend it. Im going to check out the Poway hike today!

Reviewed by AK on 6/22/2006

Reviewed by Tommy G on 6/3/2006
This was the first time on this trail and I was very impressed. I would recommend it to families that would like an easy trail to venture. Just be cautious when you bring your dog with you, there are a couple of trails that dogs are not allowed on. Poison Oak is everywhere, but, you can avoid it pretty easy. If you would like to see pictures go to I would definately hike again and have already planned a trip to take my wife and daughter.

Reviewed by Chris on 5/9/2006
Very pleasant and easy hike. Some nice side paths leading to creek pools and oak groves. Use caution in the spring as there is abundant poison oak off and near all trails. For a more strenuous hike, you can continue on to the right up to Lake Poway or to the left to the Ramona Dam (from which there are some pretty spectacular views to the ocean).

Reviewed by Kim on 6/25/2005
We did this hike as a family with my 20-month-old in the baby backpack. The trails in the valley are lovely and shaded and were great for my daughter to run around a little We headed up the Lake Poway trail which is a pretty steep climb in spots (enough to be a good challenge on a sunny day). This area was too much for a kid to climb but fine with her in the pack. If you have little ones that you don't want to lug around I'd stick to the lower trails. We met family of frequent visitors who told us that there are great programs for kids all year round here. A great family hike all-in-all and the grown-ups can get some excerise here too.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, San Diego County Hiking, San Diego County Trails, San Diego County Hikes

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