This segment of the Coast to Crest trail through San Pasqual Valley picks up where our last hike, from Mule Hill to the Old Coach connector trail, left off. This segment starts off almost perfectly flat as it continues along the San Dieguito River, then ascends to the Raptor Ridge Viewpoint where you have fantastic views of the San Pasqual Valley below. As you can guess from the name, it is an excellent spot to view hawks soaring by as they hunt.
To continue from where our last hike had left off, we began at the Old Coach Staging Area on Highland Valley Road. We found the trailhead across from the parking lot, on the opposite side of the Evergreen Nursery driveway.
Once across the road, it was just a short stroll to a “T” junction where we met the Coast to Crest Trail. This is the spot we had turned around at on our last hike. We turned right, heading east, to begin the next segment to Raptor Ridge.
A short distance off the trail was a picnic table – a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy the morning. Shortly after we passed, we heard the cries of a large and boisterous pack of coyotes from somewhere up the hill beyond the trees.
From the Raptor Ridge viewpoint we had an expansive view of the valley below. There was a quilt-like pattern of agricultural fields, and beyond those we could see a yellow hot-air balloon at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
A little further up the trail was another viewpoint with a picnic table. You can continue on the trail here for another two miles or so to reach the Santa Ysabel Creek Road staging area, but we intended to save that section for another day, so turned around at this point and retraced our path.
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From I-15, take the W Bernardo Dr/Pomerado Rd exit. Head east on Pomerado Road to Highland Valley Road. Turn left onto Highland Valley Road. Continue on Highland Valley Road for approximately 2.3 miles to a driveway on the right for the Evergreen Nursery Growing Grounds, the SDRP parking lot is on the right side of that driveway just off the road, and the trail head is on the opposite side of the driveway. map
|Total Distance:||4.7 miles|
|Total Ascent:||484 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes allowed|