Daley Ranch Naturalist Hikes

Daley Ranch Naturalist Hikes
December 2015

All hikes begin at the Daley Ranch entrance on La Honda Drive unless otherwise noted. Bring water, sun hat, sunscreen, and proper hiking boots or treaded footwear. All trails include steep and/or slippery sections. Please do not leave valuables in your car. Steady rain cancels a hike. The hike schedule is also available at www.escondido.org and www.visitescondido.com. Please note that drinking water is not available on Daley Ranch so be sure to carry a sufficient supply.

Sunday, December 6, 7:15 a.m., “Early Morning Fitness Hike”
Why hike on level terrain when there are steep hills to go up and down? Join Naturalist Rita Ospelt and test your endurance and stamina on this 11.1 mile hike. Some of the hills we will tackle are on East Ridge, Staley Peak, and Crest Trails. We will be hiking at a brisk pace. There are some steep uphill/downhill sections and this hike is not suited for children.

Saturday, December 12, 7:00 a.m., “Discover Daley Ranch—5 to 7 miles”
Meet Naturalist William Sherrard for a slow to moderately paced hike on the trails of Daley Ranch. The planned hike is between five and seven miles in length and will last about 2.5 to 3 hours. He will be happy to map out a hike for those wishing to go longer distances. Choices are hikes of 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, or 18 miles in length.

Saturday, December 12, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., “Just for Kids”
Got kids? This hike is perfect for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and their kids. Join Naturalist DJ Summers on this kid-friendly hike as we explore the area. We will walk along an easy trail with several stops/rests along the way. Afterward, we will make a nature craft in a beautiful picnic area. Treats will be rewarded to good listeners. Sorry no dogs are allowed on this hike as we use mostly Dixon Lake trails and picnic areas.

Sunday, December 13, 7:15 a.m., “Early Morning Fitness Hike”
Naturalist Rita Ospelt will lead a hike to the north end and west side of Daley Ranch. The total distance is about 11 miles and we will be hiking at a brisk pace. This hike is not suited for children.

Sunday, December 13, 8:30 a.m., “Wintering and Resident Birds of Lake Wohlford”
Naturalist Sally Sanderson will lead an easy-paced bird walk of about 3 miles, lasting two to three hours at Lake Wohlford. We will follow the southern and eastern shoreline from the parking lot on Oakvale Road. We hope to see a Bald Eagle perching on its favorite tree or hunting in the lake for fish and Common Mergansers should be back from their northern summer haunts. Bring binoculars, hat, water, and wear layered clothing. Heavy rain cancels. MEET AT THE LAKE WOHLFORD/OAKVALE TRAILHEAD AT 8:30 A.M.
Lake Wohlford Trailhead—From Interstate 15, take the Valley Parkway exit in Escondido and go northeast about 5.5 miles. Turn right on Lake Wohlford Road and go 1.9 miles to Oakvale Road. Turn slightly right onto Oakvale and go about one mile and turn left into the fenced parking lot.

Sunday, December 13, 9:00 a.m., “Daley Ranch Scenery”
A diverse plant population and expansive views are waiting to be enjoyed on Naturalist Rick Paul’s occasionally strenuous, 4-mile hike leaving from Cougar Pass. Be sure to ask Rick about the Daley Ranch keepsake! MEET AT THE COUGAR PASS PARKING LOT. Cougar Pass Trailhead—From Interstate 15, take the El Norte Parkway exit in Escondido east about a half mile to Broadway. Take Broadway north four miles to Cougar Pass (dirt road), turn right, and drive about one mile. Park in the asphalt lot on left.

Saturday, December 19, 7:00 a.m., “Discover Daley Ranch—5 to 7 miles”
Meet Naturalist William Sherrard for a slow to moderately paced hike on the trails of Daley Ranch. The planned hike is between five and seven miles in length and will last about 2.5 to 3 hours. He will be happy to map out a hike for those wishing to go longer distances. Choices are hikes of 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, or 18 miles in length.

Friday, December 25, 8:00 a.m., “10th Annual Christmas Hike”
Join Naturalist Lee Dezan on a 3.5 mile hike, lasting about 3-3.5 hours. Several pond sites will be visited and the external Ranch House renovation will be viewed. Wear layered clothing and bring at least 2 liters of water. Treaded footwear is recommended, along with a wide brim hat. Binoculars are always handy as we usually see many birds. OK for leashed dogs. Rain never cancels. Free parking at the La Honda trailhead.

Saturday, December 26, 7:00 a.m., “Discover Daley Ranch—5 to 7 miles”
Meet Naturalist William Sherrard for a slow to moderately paced hike on the trails of Daley Ranch. The planned hike is between five and seven miles in length and will last about 2.5 to 3 hours. He will be happy to map out a hike for those wishing to go longer distances. Choices are hikes of 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, or 18 miles in length.

Sunday, December 27, 10 a.m.-12 Noon, “Volunteer Trail Team”
You can bring your gloves, and we will bring the tools. Adults 18 years-of-age and older are invited to show up wearing long sleeves, long pants, hat, and closed-toe shoes to meet a Ranger at the intersection of Sage and Stanley Peak Trails to help trim back the over growth. No experience necessary—the Ranger will train you.

Friday, January 1, 8:00 a.m., “8th Annual New Years’ Day Hike”
Join Naturalist Lee Dezan on a 3.5 mile hike, lasting about 3-3.5 hours. Three pond sites will be visited and the external Ranch House renovation will be viewed. Wear layered clothing and bring at least 2 liters of water. Treaded footwear is recommended, along with a wide brim hat. Binoculars are always handy as we usually see many birds. OK for leashed dogs. Rain never cancels. Free parking at the La Honda trailhead.

Want to be a volunteer? If you are interested in volunteering as a Trail Patrol, Hike Leader, Trail Maintenance or Litter-Abatement Team Member, please stop by the Dixon Lake Ranger Station for information and an application—or call Ranger Kathy at (760) 839-4345.

Directions to Hike Locations
La Honda Trailhead—From Interstate 15, take the El Norte Parkway exit in Escondido. Go east four miles to La Honda Drive, turn left, drive one mile to Daley Ranch entrance and park in dirt lot on left.

Cougar Pass Trailhead—From Interstate 15, take the El Norte Parkway exit in Escondido east about a half mile to Broadway. Take Broadway north four miles to Cougar Pass (dirt road), turn right, and drive one mile. Park in the asphalt lot on left.

Caballo Trailhead—From Interstate 15, take the Valley Parkway exit in Escondido and go northeast about 5 miles. Turn left at Bevin into the Eureka Springs development. Follow the road toward the filtration plant entrance and turn right at the Escondido Humane Society sign (Volunteer Lane).
Park in the dirt parking lot.

Lake Wohlford Trailhead—From Interstate 15, take the Valley Parkway exit in Escondido and go northeast about 5.5 miles. Turn right on Lake Wohlford Road and go 1.9 miles to Oakvale Road. Turn slightly right onto Oakvale and go about one mile. Turn left into the fenced parking lot.