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A necessary but noisy conclusion to the Coast to Crest Trail that offers birders some joy.


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Map Key

2.3

Miles

3.8

KM

Point to Point

26' 8 m

High

10' 3 m

Low

18' 5 m

Up

22' 7 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

1%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · River/Creek

Description

This trail is part of a grand idea, but one still incompletely realized, the 70 mile Coast to Crest Trail to Volcan Mountain, the source of the San Dieguito River. To achieve connectivity some sub-par sections are inevitable and this is one of them. This section is marred by incessant I-5 freeway noise which drowns out the bird calls along all but the easternmost section of the trail. Immediately east of I-5, the trail parallels a shopping center, offering a view of signs for a gas station, a McDonalds, and a grocery store. West of I-5 offers bleak views of the endless parking for the Del Mar fairgrounds across the Jimmy Durante Blvd "speedway". Moreover ongoing trail and environmental restoration work on the west side further limit the appeal.

Still during the spring when the wetlands are wettest and the mustard is in bloom, this becomes a 2-star trail. Birders will consider it at least 2-stars all year due to a large variety of visiting birds that the land manager has been tallying month by month since 2010.

The lagoon is a huge win for wildlife even if disappointing to the hiker. It is now called the Peter Douglas Wetlands, in honor of Peter Douglas (1942–2012), a coastal environmental advocate who led a successful grass roots effort in 1972 that resulted in the creation of the California Coastal Commission, on which he served as executive director from 1985–2011. The San Dieguito lagoon restoration itself was partly funded by Southern California Edison as part of a 2005 settlement with the California Coastal Commission to offset the adverse impact on marine life from the water-cooling system for the San Onofre Nuclear Plant along the coast. Peter Douglas shepherded the restoration process.

Contacts

Shared By:

Matthew Kidd

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 4 votes

#7

in San Diego

#24397

Overall
  3.5 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
25%
Trail Rankings

#7

in San Diego

#2,452

in California

#24,397

Overall
5 Views Last Month
3,454 Since May 2, 2017
Easy Easy

75%
25%
0%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

View south of San Dieguito Lagoon in late spring with I-5 at the right edge.
May 1, 2017 near Solana…, CA
San Dieguito Lagoon in late spring.
May 1, 2017 near Solana…, CA
San Dieguito River flowing through he San Dieguito Lagoon with Black Mountain visible 7 miles away.
May 1, 2017 near Del Mar, CA
San Dieguito River flowing through the San Dieguito Lagoon.
May 1, 2017 near Del Mar, CA
San Dieguito Lagoon with Del Mar in the background to the SWW.
May 1, 2017 near Del Mar, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 51 days ago
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Check-Ins

Mar 7, 2020
Alita Hawksworth
Coast to crest 5k 3mi — 0h 56m
Apr 8, 2018
Holly Ann
3mi
Jun 20, 2017
Katharina Hodges
Mar 6, 2017
S. Sutt
2 nd hike that day. West end under construction. Enter from east trailhead.
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