A touch of German
According to information from the Ca Dept of Fish and Game, "Boden Canyon Ecological Reserve (BCER) lies between the communities of Escondido and Ramona, with its southern boundary along Highway 78. Boden Canyon and Santa Ysabel Creek areas were identified as a valuable wildlife corridor and an integral part of the region's multiple species conservation planning effort."
With development encroaching on all sides, BCER is unique because of its relatively low level of human disturbance. The first inhabitants were members of the Kumeyaay tribe. Their only permanent marks left upon the land are bedrock milling features (holes created in stone from grinding acorns). One lies right on the edge of the access road - just waiting for discovery (I wasn't successful...). Only a handful of families homesteaded the area in the mid- to late 1800s, leaving a few remnant foundations, eucalyptus groves, and a rudimentary road. The canyon was named after one such homesteader, Johann Boden, a German immigrant and farmer. The only signs of human development, other than a semi-buried PVC pipe running along the access road was some old concrete in various spots and the pond (N33 07 00.5 W116 53 37.0).
The few descriptions for the hike I was able to locate described it as follows:
Distance: 11.0 miles out and back Hiking Time: 4.5 hours (round trip) Elevation Gain/Loss 500?/500? Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
I wasn't able to traverse the mapped distance. The access road past the pond (approximately 3.5 miles) petered out into the creek bed (which had some water flowing still...). Using Google Earth later, I believe I found where I erred and missed the trail. There was a lot of damage from the fires that raged through this area in 2007; it's possible the trail had been blocked with downed trees and new growth... I followed the creek bed as far as I dared; going further would have meant bushwhacking through ample growths of poison oak, poison ivy and stinging nettles. I wasn't feeling that adventurous.
On my next attempt, I'll try to pick up the trail and continue farther up the canyon. According to the maps, it should be possible to follow the trail in a long loop, however it appears this would take more than a day to accomplish and I'm fairly certain camping isn't allowed...
Because of the time of year, temperatures were starting to creep into the uncomfortable range at times; mid-morning breezes helped keep things tolerable. I would recommend getting a very early start or waiting until later in the year to tackle this trek.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.