Despite being only an hour and a half drive from downtown San Diego (plus a little hiking), Corte Madera Mountain feels far more remote.
Tucked among the chaparral-covered mountains of Pine Creek Wilderness, in Cleveland National Forest, the oak groves, streams and cool valleys offer seclusion and a reprieve from the dry, rugged terrain.
If you happen to be in the vicinity of Lake Gregory, the hike to Heart Rock Falls, located just on the outskirts of the town of Crestline, is a convenient excursion into the alpine forests of the San Bernadino Mountains.
Batiquitos Lagoon is a stunning wetland ecosystem, located on the coast about 30 miles north of San Diego, in the city of Carlsbad.
Iron Mountain Trail is a very popular San Diego County hiking trail between the city of Poway and the town of Ramona.