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Del Mar Mesa Preserve

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About the Preserve


The 900-acre Del Mar Mesa Preserve lies on the east end of the San Diego Commune of Del Mar Mesa. It is protected under the city's Multiple Species Habitat Plan. Parts of the Preserve are under State and Federal jurisdiction. Home to dozens of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals unique to San Diego, the Preserve was created through negotiations between government,  community,  environmental representatives, and land owners, who dedicated up to 75% of their land in exchange for higher housing densities. The Preserve is also home to many vernal pool complexes. The Preserve is contiguous to Los Penasquitos Canyon and serves as a critical animal migration corridor for the City and County.


A popular recreational destination for equestrians, trail bike riders, naturalists, and hikers, the City Parks Department developed a Resource Management Plan to designate compatible trails in consultation with community, environmental and recreational user groups which was enacted by the San Diego City Council.

Legal Trail Map

The City's Resource Management Plan, which was produced through a cooperative effort between recreational user groups,  community Planning Boards, environmental organizations, park advisory committees, was approved in 2014. The plan defines a trail system through the Preserve which protects sensitive species while allowing recreational use by hikers & runners, bikers and horse riders. The Friends

will help fund appropriate interpretive signage and trail markers. Please Note: Property on the northeast corner of the Preserve marked "private" is now owned by the city.

Users of these trails should keep in mind that the area is a nature prerserve.  Stay on legally defined trails, clean up after animals and take everything brought in out.

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