19324 Santee Lane, Valley Center, CA 92082
Park: (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.
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. This park also features 10 primitive campsites for organzied youth groups.
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.