Hosp Grove

Hosp Grove was established in 1908 as a business venture by F.P. Hosp, who hoped to profit by selling the wood from fast-growing eucalyptus trees for use in the railroads. Unfortunately for Hosp, eucalyptus wood turned out to be unsuitable for construction purposes, and much of the land was eventually sold for residential development. Hosp’s misfortune turned into a benefit for hikers however, when in 1986 the City of Carlsbad purchased the remaining 53 acres of the grove and turned it into a park with several miles of hiking trails.

The grove is split into two halves – the West Grove and East Grove, bisected by a busy road (Monroe Street). The West Grove has a small park with children’s play area along with trails. The East Grove has a much more elaborate network of interconnecting trails. So many trails in fact, that it gets a little confusing to navigate. It’s a relatively compact piece of land however, so it’s pretty difficult to get lost. It’s a great spot to just wander around and explore.

From the northeast edge of the Jefferson Street parking lot, we started along the path through the West Grove. The trail traveled along a wooden boardwalk past the children’s play area.

The boardwalk quickly disappeared and trail continued along a dirt path through tall eucalyptus trees.

We crossed a small wooden footbridge which spanned a dry creek bed, and came to a “T” junction. This is where the loop began. We turned right, planning on returning from the left.

We quickly came upon another junction and took the left fork, heading uphill. The right fork looped right back to the parking lot.

We had a short climb uphill. Down on our left was a busy road, and the sound of rushing traffic could be heard.
Despite the proximity of civilization, we still found the trail to be an enjoyable respite. The towering eucalyptus trees provided cover from the hot midday sun, and numerous lizards zoomed along the trailside, keeping us entertained.

Before long, we found ourselves heading downhill.

We passed a junction where a side trail split off to the right, heading uphill to a nearby residential area. We stayed to the left, heading downhill towards the road (Monroe St). As we got closer to the road, the path split again, with one fork leading to the left. We continued straight ahead towards the road and crossed to the other side of the street.

Once safely across the road, we turned left and followed the sidewalk a short distance to the Hosp Grove Hi-Noon Rotary Picnic Area and Trail Head parking area.

We entered the parking lot and walked up the driveway until we found a trail leading uphill on the right and followed it.

We almost immediately came to another “Y” junction and turned left.

We soon found an abundant and confusing network of interconnecting trails and quickly gave up on trying to document every turn.

We headed in a generally eastern direction, then followed a trail north up to the top of a small ridge.

The trail dead-ended at a modest overlook. The view was mostly obscured by the trees, but that wasn’t a huge drawback as the view beyond appeared to be mostly of the mall parking lot across the street.

We retraced our route back down the hill, the followed another trail leading north in an attempt to make a loop and head back towards our starting point.

We passed through the central section of the grove and took a few more random turns before finding ourselves along Marron Road – the street near the mall we had been overlooking earlier.

We made our way to the sidewalk and turned left, heading back towards the West Grove. After crossing back over Monroe Street, this time using the crosswalk, we picked up the lower branch of the West Grove trail.

The trail paralleled the road for about .25 mile then turned left, leading back towards the park where we had begun.

A short distance later we found ourselves back at the start of our loop, and made our way back to the car.

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Take I-5 to the Las Flores Dr exit and head west on Las Flores Dr. Turn right onto Jefferson St and continue for approximately .6 miles. The entrance to the Hosp Grove parking lot will be on your right. map

Total Distance: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Total Ascent: 378 feet
Dog Friendly?: Leashed dogs allowed
Bike Friendly?: Bikes allowed
Facilities: Port-a-potty at trailhead; no water
Fees/Permits: None

For more information, visit:
City of Carlsbad – Hosp Grove Trails
View route or download GPX from CalTopo

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