register help

Daley Ranch - Jack Creek Meadow Trail, CA

no permit
46 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > San Diego
2 of 5 by 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 6.11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1 feet
Elevation Gain 325 feet
Accumulated Gain 646 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.34
Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
26  2013-12-10 azbackpackr
20  2013-01-02 azbackpackr
Author azbackpackr
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 365
Photos 4,732
Trips 720 map ( 5,214 miles )
Age 66 Female Gender
Location Flag-summer-Needles-winter
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jan, Feb, Dec, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn
Sun  5:36am - 5:45pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Do you know Jack?
by azbackpackr

This is a popular loop within the Daley Ranch hiking park, owned by the City of Escondido. Although you have to walk up a steep hill to get into the main ranch area and start the hike, most of the hike is fairly flat, with a few whoopsi-doos that mountain bikers will enjoy. It's also open for horseback riding and dog-walking, on leash. Dog walkers must pick up after the dogs.

On the hike into the main ranch area there are panoramic views of the city, but once on the loop you feel more like you are in the backcountry, walking along in a small valley, filled with oak trees and chaparral. The small creek runs only during rainy times, mostly in late winter and early spring.

There is no fee to enter the park, but donations are welcome. The area is open daily from dawn to dusk. In summer it is very hot, sometimes over 100 degrees, so you should start your hike at dawn.

To reach the trail loop, park in the main parking area for the ranch, and walk along the paved road up a steep hill and down the other side, until you see the two-story ranch house on your left. Pavement ends here. Keep going straight ahead on the same road, which is now dirt. You'll pass a few sheds and other buildings. Watch for the sign post that says Jack Creek Meadow Loop. You can take the right hand fork, or go straight ahead on the left hand fork. If you are riding a bicycle you will probably want to take the right-hand fork. It'll be more fun.

If you go straight ahead on the left fork the road you are walking along narrows a bit, but goes straight ahead and is flat for at least a mile. It continues up a hill but stays pretty straight until it gets to a chain-link fence and locked gate. At this point you'll see you need to loop around to the right. You'll also see the '69 Plymouth, shot full of holes, which is on private property on the other side of the fence. It's so derelict it is almost art. Continue on and you'll start seeing the gnarled Engelmann Oaks. There is one that is particularly huge and spectacular. It's next to the trail and has a bench to sit on underneath it.

Continuing on, the trail bends back around to the right again, and soon you'll reach the main ranch area again. Return the way you came, past the ranch house on the paved road.

There is a very nice campground at adjacent Dixon Lake. Entrance to Dixon Lake is located directly across the road from the Daley Ranch parking lot. A pleasant fall or spring weekend could be spent camping in the campground and hiking the many trails at Daley Ranch. The campground accommodates tents and RVs.

More information:
Information on the history of the ranch:
Dixon Lake camping:

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2013-12-12 azbackpackr
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Daley Ranch - Jack Creek Meadow Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Part of why I hiked this today was to see how mountain bike-able it might be. It is, and I did see several cyclists. It would suit me much better on a bike, since I tend to get bored with flat ground. However, the Engelmann Oaks and other plants and trees are very pretty.

    It's a cherry-stem loop. I took the left fork at the junction. On a bike it would be much better to take the right-hand fork, and do the loop counter-clockwise.

    Underneath one of the biggest oaks I've ever seen was a bench. And on the bench was a very expensive-looking red iPad. I took it with me, found a ranger and gave it to him. Did my good Scout deed for the day, so WHEW, now I can go back to being myself... :x
    Daley Ranch - Jack Creek Meadow Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Well, I didn't actually hike the Jack Creek Meadow Trail. But Daley Ranch is a hiker park (and also allows horses, mtn. bikes, and dogs.) It's right there in Escondido, on the edge of town. I remember when I was a kid it was a private ranch.

    Anyway, as with many hiker parks, there is the usual spaghetti of trails. So, I hiked Creek Crossing to Coyote Run to Sage to Ranch House, or something like that, and logged a bit over 4 miles. I really did enjoy it, though. I didn't hurry, I was busy looking at chaparral plants, oak trees, and the long views. You can see all the way to the ocean from there on a clear day, and it was a very clear day indeed.

    There were quite a few people, but it wasn't exactly crowded, and I never felt like I was going to get run over by a mountain biker--they all seem to call out loudly and also they slow down, and also they say hello. Imagine that! I did see horses, too. The horse riders wear helmets here. Well, you know, it's California. People were friendly. Almost everyone says hello. I was surprised at that, because in other urban hiker parks I sometimes have noticed a lack of friendliness. I don't like that.

    If this sounds like you, if you are one of those hikers who doesn't greet others, you really need to get over yourself. [-X

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Travel north on I-15 from the San Diego metro area to the town of Escondido. Take the El Norte Parkway exit. Drive about 3 miles and turn left on La Honda Drive. This road winds steeply up through a residential area and avocado groves and dead-ends at the parking lot for Daley ranch. Mapquest: 3024 La Honda Drive, Escondido, CA 92027

    Dixon Lake Campground is also located here. It is a really pretty campground.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Dec 12 2013 8:55 am
    help comment issue

    end of page marker