April 2021


green hills below. In the southern parts of the park, you can see plant life including California sagebrush, California buckwheat, and California sunflower, and if you make it to the northern parts, you’ll see more chaparral, including lemonade berry, coffee berry, chamise, manzanita, and California lilac. Go in the spring, and you might be treated to hills covered with blue carpeting from the California lilac bloom. The park has a big variety of birds, including rare species such as the California gnatcatcher, rufous-crowned sparrow, and northern harrier. You might also catch sight of deer, bobcats, and rattlesnakes. The trails are best done in winter and spring, when it’s not as hot. The climb to the top of Black Mountain is moderately challenging, but if you want to push yourself, you can add extra miles of looping trails beyond. penasquitos.org Black Mountain

Black Mountain Open Space Park

This park is more remote and has a trail loop that’s less easy to follow, which means there are far fewer crowds and you can run or hike without navigating around big groups. One nice route to take is to start at Hilltop Community Park on OviedoWay and follow the Nighthawk trail for four miles out and back to the summit of Black Mountain. But there are also trails that roam far beyond that peak, so you can extend your route and have a full day of hiking. Along the way, you’ll see the same rugged boulders and low brush that you’d get in Peñasquitos Canyon, but with less shade. You’ll also get to climb higher, with views of rolling

so you ’ ve hiked :

Los Peñasquitos Canyon The fact that this trail oers 12 miles of wooded paths in the middle of heavily populated Mira Mesa and Sorrento Valley makes it a favorite among runners, walkers with dogs, and even horseback riders. You can start the long loop at either Sorrento Valley Boulevard or Black Mountain Road and hike the whole thing, or turn back at the popular waterfall in the middle. penasquitos.org

70 APR I L 2021

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