Parks and Rec

Board Approves Addition for Hellhole Canyon Preserve

Hellhole Canyon

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to buy 82 acres of land to add to, and help protect, existing and sensitive habitat in Hellhole Canyon County Preserve in Valley Center Wednesday.

The 82 acres, located east of North Lake Wohlford Road at the northern end of Sunset Vista Lane, includes sensitive chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat that will add to the 1900-acre preserve.

Supervisors voted to buy the land for $1.1 million, with the help of a $50,000 donation from the Friends of Hellhole Canyon.

The new land will give sensitive plants and animals large blocks of land where they can thrive. Chaparral and coastal sage scrub are important habitat areas for many of the region’s sensitive species — from plants like San Diego thornmint, sticky dudleya and slender pod jewelflower; to birds and animals including Cooper’s hawks, golden eagles, pallid bats, San Diego horned lizards and San Diego banded geckos.

Hellhole Canyon Preserve includes 13 ½ miles of moderate-to-advanced trails for visitors. It also has an area where horseback riders can park trailers, as well as restroom, potable water, a lookout point and an amphitheater. The preserve’s trails run through creek areas with large sycamore and oak trees to sage and California lilac covered chaparral areas up to Rodriguez Mountain, where visitors can see all the way to the ocean on clear days.

Hellhole Canyon County Preserve is part of the County of San Diego’s park system, which includes nearly 50,000 acres of park land and 400 miles of trails.


Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact