As we celebrate the grand opening of the Pamo Valley segment of the Coast to Crest Trail this year, we look back 28 years to the very first newly constructed trails opened to the public in the San Dieguito River Park- the Clevenger Canyon North and South Trails.
Back in 1986, 2,000 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management in the “San Pasqual Mountains” was leased to the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department on the condition that the City provided trails. It took a year for 60-70 Urban Corps members working full-time to build 14 miles of trails at a cost of $194,000. The grand opening was October 26, 1991. Over 10 miles of trails were constructed on the north side of Clevenger Canyon, dipping down from the staging area off of Highway 78 and crossing Santa Ysabel Creek before climbing up to a plateau, and over 3 miles of trails were constructed on the south side, ending in view points on both a west fork and east fork.
The canyon is named after John Clevenger and his family, who settled in San Pasqual Valley in 1872 to begin wheat and dairy farming. The Clevenger home was the oldest house in the valley until it was lost in the October 2017 wildfires. Much of the original 10 miles of the Clevenger Canyon North Trails were also lost in those fires and subsequent overgrowth of vegetation. San Pasqual – Clevenger Canyon Open Space Park continues to be managed by the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department and is still part of the San Dieguito River Park today.
Park Ranger, San Dieguito River Park JPA