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An easily accessible trail through oak groves.

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Point to Point

220' 67 m


36' 11 m


98' 30 m


281' 86 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

There is no parking along Genesee Avenue. To access the trail from this point, you must park in a nearby neighborhood and hike down the road to the trailhead.

At the end of the trail, near the Tecolote Canyon Nature Center, there is a parking lot and on-street parking, and restrooms.


Overall, the trail is well-marked. There are a number of side paths leading to residential neighborhood trailheads, and they are all labeled with arrows and the street name.

Begin from Genesee Avenue (entrance on the west side). The first section of the trail goes southwest about a mile. This section is singletrack, and much of it winds through some beautiful oak groves. (Watch out for poison oak beneath them if you head off-trail!) It is also notable for several creek bed crossings. Water is most likely to be present during the winter and spring, but at any time, the creek bed(s) are made of loose cobbles.

The first crossing has a makeshift board laid across, and others often have rocks enabling people on foot to cross. Cobbles can be slippery, wet or dry. Also in this first section are a number of dips in the trail, which are shallow, but can be steep.

The trail now joins a north-south trail. Follow signs south for the Tecolote Nature Center. Singletrack through oak groves and along a stream continues for a short way, and then climbs the side of the canyon. This short section is narrow and can be brushy, but is mostly hard-packed dirt. For the next mile or so, the official trail is singletrack, occasionally joining a fire road for a short distance. There is a network of fire roads and neighborhood trail offshoots in this area. The trail is well-marked, however, and generally follows the fence of the golf course to the west. There are a few steep downs and ups in this section.

For the last third of the trail, past the southern end of the golf course, the trail becomes a wide, flat road. It has a short segment of thick, soft sand, but is otherwise hard-packed dirt or small rocks/gravel. It ends at the Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center.

Flora & Fauna

Primarily oaks with little underbrush. Occasional palms and cacti. Spring wildflowers.


Shared By:

Susan Patch with improvements by Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 5 votes


  3.6 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings


in California


26 Views Last Month
791 Since Jun 25, 2019
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate



Here, Tecolote Canyon Trail South runs along Tecolote Creek at the bottom of Tecolote Canyon.
Mar 26, 2022 near San Diego, CA
The interesting and varied vegetation covering the canyon hillsides along Tecolote Canyon Trail South.
Mar 26, 2022 near San Diego, CA
The creek runs through thin woods at the bottom of its canyon.
Mar 26, 2022 near San Diego, CA
Thin, sunlit oak woods along Tecolote Canyon Trail South, at the canyon bottom.
Mar 26, 2022 near San Diego, CA
Tecolote Creek at the bottom of Tecolote Canyon.
Mar 26, 2022 near San Diego, CA
The canyon hillsides can be seen along an open stretch of Tecolote Canyon Trail South.
Mar 26, 2022 near San Diego, CA



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 32 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Feb 19, 2024
David Young
Mar 26, 2022
Joan Pendleton

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