San Diego Urban Canyon Trails


Land Manager:  City of San Diego


One of the main features of San Diego’s geography are the many canyons which cross various portions of the county. We are fortunate that many of these canyons were preserved as open space as the city developed around them.  Most of the urban canyons are owned and managed by the City of San Diego.  


The area known as Tri-Canyons includes Teclote Canyon Natural Park, Rose Canyon Open Space Park and Marian Bear Memorial Park. These areas, most of which are owned and managed by the City of San Diego, have miles of trails connecting into neighborhoods in Bay Park and Clairemont Mesa. There are master trails plan efforts for these canyons which have been in planning for years. We look forward to continuing to provide input as these plans reach approval process.  

SDMBA works with the City of San Diego and partners such as Bike Clairemont and the Clairemont Town Council to improve trails in the Tri-Canyons Area.  

Work includes: 

  • Tecolote Canyon Projects
        -2022: Treadwork, erosion control and bridge replacement in Tecolote Canyon on the September Street Trail            and the Ackworth Trail and badly eroded sections along east side of the golf course 
        -2023: Bridge replacement south of Balboa Avenue 
        -2023: Bridge replacements and trail transition improvements near Tecolote Golf Course

  • Marian Bear Memorial Park: 2022-23 Treadwork, erosion control, trail stabilization and bridge replacement 
  • Keller Canyon: 2022-23 Bridge replacement in Keller Canyon, a finger canyon leading into Marian Bear canyon from Clairemont Mesa


Tecolote Creek Crossing before                        New Tecolote Creek Crossing completed Fall 2023                Transition feature leading to Tecolote Creek

Chollas Creek Canyon/Swan Canyon

In the Spring of 2017, with funds from a partnership grant from the San Diego Foundation as part of their Opening the Outdoors Program, SDMBA worked with San Diego Canyonlands and the San Diego Urban Corps on projects in the City Heights area.  Planning for the enhancement and completion of the Chollas Creek Trail (1 mile trail between 54th and Euclid) and the Swan Canyon Trail (1/4 mile connection) began in late 2016 and work was completed over a series of work days in the spring of 2017.  

These connector trails are vital not only for recreation but as safe routes to schools and other community amenities. These routes can provide more direct access on a shorter route from neighborhood to neighborhood than going all the way around on very busy surface streets. 

Ongoing planning happening in 2023/24 for Chollas Creek Regional Park Master Plan Development which can include improved green space and park amenities, trails and connectivity for the area.  More Information