San Dieguito County Park

San Dieguito Park

San Dieguito County Park is one of our favorite places to go for an adventure so yesterday we took Sunny there for the first time. Karlie and I visited this park many times with the last time being one of the most memorable. On her last visit Karlie was using her rear-wheel wheelchair. Despite that she conquered some big hills both paved and dirt. She had the best time and was all smiles on that visit.

Andie and Karlie at San Dieguito County Park

Today we showed the park and all the trails to Sunny while reminiscing about our prior visits with Karlie. It was a good day and a good memory plus we made new memories with Sunny and she had a blast.

History of San Dieguito County Park

The park has a rich history dating back to 1840 when the Mexican government granted the land to Juan Maria Osuna. He built a home for his family and used the land for farming and raising livestock. In 1906 the family sold the land to the railway who planted Eucalyptus seeds hoping to use the wood for railroad ties. When that didn’t work out, they sold individual lots that helped create Rancho Santa Fe. Later the land on which the park now stands was owned by the Santa Fe Irrigation District.

In 1952 the president of the irrigation district suggested creating a park. The San Dieguito Junior Chamber of Commerce agreed to sponsor it and originally envisioned a small park of about 5 acres. The president of the irrigation district, however, envisioned a much larger park of closer to 100 acres. After many meetings the County Board of Supervisors agreed to deed the park land to the County of San Diego in 1954. The cost was a symbolic $10. The upper park was completed in 1965 and the lower park in 1977.

Visiting San Dieguito County Park

The park can be accessed from several different areas and you can either pay $3 to park in their parking lot or park on the street. We like to park on Highland Drive and either walk to the entrance or start walking on the Caballos Trail which goes entirely around the park. There are other trails off the Caballos Trail that lead into the park.

San Dieguito County Park map

The park is divided into an upper and lower park. The lower park has grassy fields with picnic tables, restrooms, and a pond. It’s a nice spot for a picnic or to walk around. There is even a butterfly garden. The upper park has playground equipment, hiking trails, and several platforms overlooking the canyon and park below. There’s also some sandstone which is always fun to climb onto.

pond at lower pond
picnic area
San Dieguito County Park trail
San Dieguito County Park trail
platform overlook
view of lower park at San Dieguito County Park
Sunny and Andie on the sandstone at San Dieguito County Park

Our Rating

Karlie, Sunny, and I rate San Diequito County Park 4 paws out of 4 paws up. This park truly has something for everyone – hiking trails, walking paths, picnic areas, grassy fields, parking (both paid and on the street), playground equipment, a pond, activity areas, and restrooms. It’s a not-to-be-missed spot in San Diego.

How Do I Get There?

From I-5 take exit #37 – Santa Lomas Drive and turn right. Follow Santa Lomas Drive for 1.2M then turn left onto Highland Dr. After a short distance you can either park on the street (for free) or enter the parking lot near the San Diequito County Park sign. Parking in this lot costs $3/car.

For more information about San Diequito County Park check out these websites:

San Diego Parks – San Diequito County Park

Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society

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