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Del Dios Gorge Hike

We'll hike the Del Dios Gorge Trail from its beginning up to Lake Hodges Dam and back, a total distance of about six miles. The dam itself is off limits, but we'll get good views of both sides. Along the way, we'll stop at two view points. The trail has a number of interpretive plaques, and even a junked automobile.

Leashed dogs are permitted.

We've hiked this trail before, most recently in 2010.

For more information, check the San Dieguito River Park Web site.

We'll start at a hard-to-find trailhead just below a little fruit and vegetable stand (shown below) on the southeast side of Del Dios Highway in Rancho Santa Fe, 0.09 miles northeast of Calle Ambiente (Thomas 1148 J7, N[masked] W[masked]). There are signs, but they are very small.

SUGGESTED ROUTE FROM SAN DIEGO: Take I-5 north and exit at Via De La Valle, which is also County Highway S6. Follow S6  east through Rancho Santa Fe as it becomes Paseo Delicias and then Del Dios Highway. Pass a traffic light at Calle Ambiente and go just 0.09 miles farther to a fruit and vegetable stand on the right. Turn right there, but do not park there; follow a narrow paved road 0.14 miles down to the trailhead parking area. The distance from Downtown San Diego is about 30 miles and the estimated driving time is about 35 minutes.

If you approach the trailhead from the east, you may find it difficult to make a left turn at the fruit and vegetable stand, because there is no left turn lane.

The nominal starting time is 10:00 AM. I will be at the parking area by 9:30, and at 10:15 we will hit the trail. We should return to the parking area between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM.

Check your favorite weather page on the Internet. (I like www.weather.com.) Wear good hiking shoes and suitable clothing and take lunch, water and sun protection. Take a camera if you wish. Call or send E-mail if you have questions.

RAIN? Heavy rain will cancel the hike. If there is only a little rain, we may still hike. In doubtful cases, I will wait at the trailhead. You must decide whether the weather is tolerable and take appropriate protective clothing. If anyone else shows up, we will hike.

CONTACT:

Philip Erdelsky

home[masked]

cell[masked]

e-mail: [masked]

Cell phone service is available in this area, but there may be lots of dead spots because the trail is down in a gorge.

SUGGESTION: Check this page a few days before the hike for any last-minute instructions.

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  • Vera

    Super job, Philip!

    October 26, 2013

  • Philip E.

    We started with 14 hikers. Three (including two kids) turned back early. The rest of us went all the way to the dam. We returned shortly before 1:00 PM. Parking was a bit tight, but we managed to squeeze all the cars in.

    October 26, 2013

  • Lucy R.

    Very nice hike , not too much shade though. Easy access to parking lot , easy to find , directions were great. The leader, Rhill, was very helpfull, knowledgable and patient. I would do it again !!!

    October 26, 2013

  • ramon

    It was good. enjoyed to meet new hikers

    October 26, 2013

  • Jim L

    Sorry, just got the confirmation this morning and made other plans. :(

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm coming as Adele's +1. Hope that's ok. You know all 30 won't show up.....

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I also live Downtown (close to the Santa Fe Depot)... If you need a ride, let me know....

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    LOOKING, LOOKING, LOOKING FOR A RIDE.....

    October 20, 2013

    • Adele R.

      I live downtown and might be able to come & get you, if there isn't anyone closer to you who will give you a ride

      October 20, 2013

  • Adele R.

    I live downtown and might be able to come & get you, if there isn't anyone closer to you who will give you a ride

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    HEY GUYS! I WOULD SO LOVE TO DO THIS HIKE, BUT NEED A RIDE SINCE I DON'T DRIVE. I'M SURE SOMEONE CAN HELP ME OUT.....MY # is: (619) 795-1050. I LIVE ON 58TH & UNIVERSITY, AND WILL OF COURSE HELP OUT W/GAS MONEY. THANKS SO MUCH AND HIT ME UP YO!

    October 19, 2013

  • Vicki H.

    Sorry I have to cancel, have a scheduling conflict. Sounds like a great hike, hopefully next time....

    October 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is it okay to bring my kids to the hike? A 2-3 hour hike is no problem for them, though my 4 year old is a little slow!

    October 2, 2013

    • Philip E.

      This is an out-and-back hike, so you can always turn around early if your kid bonks. A 4-year old? You can always carry him/her.

      October 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Okay. We'll be there!

      October 2, 2013

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