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Hellhole Canyon Preserve

Ready for another short hike with the dogs? 

On Monday, my son, the dogs and I went to Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, CA. 

 It was a 30 minute drive from my house, and a 2 mile out and back hike into a Hellhole Canyon Preserve, where the seasonal creek, Hell Creek flows. This late in the year there was no water, but it sure was gorgeous. 

We started off on the opposing hill, and will make it down to that trail below. 

See the green valley with those giant Live Oak Trees? The mountain behind with all the boulders is called, Rodriguez Mountain. 

Let’s go! Penny, the small dog is in the lead, followed by Luna and my son. Meika, my other dog is off the trail in the bushes. She prefers to make her own trail, but is always within calling distance.

The yellowish trees in the valley are Sycamore Trees. 

We followed the switchback trail into the trees! 

We came across this rock wall that was built many years ago from the looks of it. Penny is so tiny she had to jump on it to see down into the valley. 

This is what she saw. Can you spot the cave? Almost dead center. 

You hear about the fires in California all the time. In 2003 and in 2007  this area was burned. The wildfires go through so quickly that some of the giant trees survive. Enough to look like this now. Not bad huh? The first to come back after a wildfire is the bushes and shrubs. Some are made to come back and grow very tall, seeding in massive amounts only after a fire. 

Sycamore Trees in light yellowish green framed by a giant Live Oak Tree made for a pretty scene. 

Big boulders dot the area.. You can see the part of this tree that got too hot and did not survive. 

The younger smaller trees did not make it. This picture shows a bee as well. Photo bombed by a bee! 

Meika running under that same tree… See, she is with us, just not always close. 

Luna comes back to check up on the slow poke.  She is ready to go farther into the creek area. 

The tree above has black bark as with most of the old growth trees. This is from the fires. 

It’s just right there! 

I finally caught up to the group again, now it’s time to go explore a bit closer. 

Look for the rest of this post,Titled Hell Creek coming soon! 


What do you think?


Written by Kim_Johnson

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  1. Great hiking trip. Cannot wait to continue along with you and with these beautiful trees, boulders etc. I used to have a short hiking trail behind a house where I used to live. My dog (the late Princess) back then used to always come along with me. We saw deers, raccoons, and even a beaver who was building his dam across a small river pond along that trail. Of course, man had to interfere and one of them bombed the dam because he complained that the beaver’s work was flooding his basement nearby. I know that that trail is long gone as Hydro Quebec added to its transmission capabilities with new poles and transformers etc. It is too bad for nature. I hope one of these days, nature finds a way to regain her territory.

    • Thank you Gal! In the next post, I focused on the small stuff too. Great memories this post brought up, I love that. I am so glad you liked it. Did you know that about 40% of the hiking trails in the county are under those poles and lines. They use those for hiking trails, and also old forest roads. You can hear the buzzing as you walk under them. Doesn’t feel safe, I don’t like those hikes but have been on a few. We sure need to leave the undeveloped parts alone..

    • Thank you for coming along Andre. I am so glad it this post brought back fun memories.
      Did you know there are hiking trails around here that are wheelchair accessible? Maybe they have some near you. I have a good friend that is on wheels she is always finding trails she can just wheel around.


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