Hellhole Canyon County Preserve

19324 Santee Lane, Valley Center, CA 92082
(760) 742-1631

Hours: 8 a.m. –  sunset; Fri., Sat., Sun. and Mon. (only)
Pedestrian access is available from sunrise to sunset, Friday – Monday. No public vehicle access or restroom availability on December 25. Hellhole Canyon is CLOSED in August due to extreme summer heat.

View the park brochure.

View the video!

Hellhole Canyon County Preserve is a 1,907-acre preserve that offers 13.5 miles of moderate-to-advanced trail opportunities. An equestrian-friendly staging area has ample trailer parking, vault restrooms, potable water, a look-out point and an amphitheater. 

The main trail descends from the staging area to the riparian zone along Hell Creek. Along the creek bed, hikers will find a reprieve from the sun under mature Sycamore and oak trees. The trails beyond Hell Creek can be more challenging as rise out of the creek bed into a chaparral environment, and continue up Rodriguez Mountain. But the effort pays off; on a clear day, the Pacific Ocean can be seen from the top. And if you visit in the spring, you may catch a glimpse of this floral phenomenon! 

Be sure to bring water, a snack, good footwear, and sun protection. The preserve is closed in August due to extreme heat. 


  • 13.5 miles of non-motorized multi-use trails
  • Staging area
  • Potable water (in the staging area)
  • ADA look-out point
  • 10 primitive campsites for organized youth groups
  • Small amphitheater
  • Vault restroom

Visit the News & Events page for park events, updates and closures. 

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