A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free! We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.
San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers: Free guided hikes of areas all over the county
Best For: Plant and animal lovers, those looking for exercise, photographers
San Diego has an amazing breadth of natural features: coast, mountains, deserts, oceans, lakes, rivers, and much more. If you’re looking for a good way to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the natural side of San Diego County check out the Canyoneer Hikes from the San Diego Natural History Museum.
The Canyoneers are “San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to teach appreciation of plants and animals in southern California”. They lead free guided hikes of areas all over the county, from Florida Canyon in the heart of Balboa Park to mountain peaks and desert outings.
You can sign up for a weekly email from the group highlighting upcoming hikes, there are one or two hikes most every weekend of the year. I’ve subscribed to the emails for over a year and they are very well done, probably the best formatted and informative, yet succinct, email I get on a regular basis. There is also a very nice guide you can download from their website that has a calendar of the hikes for the entire year, as well as a description of the trails and directions to the trailheads.
I haven’t been able to take a guided tour with the Canyoneers yet, but I have utilized their brochure for selecting weekend hikes and then exploring on my own. I’m planning to join them for a hike soon and might be lucky enough to meet another first-timer when I go.
We are fortunate to live in one of the nation’s largest cities and also have such a diversity of climate and terrain to explore in close proximity. The Canyoneers are a great resource for taking advantage of the abundance of nature in our county, and an opportunity to connect with others at the same time.
John was an accountant in a former life and now devotes his time to child-rearing, reading, writing, and working to ensure that San Diego is truly America’s Finest City. Interested specifically in environmental issues, John is always interested in learning more and connecting with others that want to improve the health of our world and community.
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