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March 31, 2019

Dust Devil Nature Trail - Urban Hiking Del Mar

We woke up to a postcard perfect morning, under blue skies and low 70s.  It’s also Spring Break and the beaches are packed with a line of cars a mile in all directions to pick a spot on the sand to show off the latest in spandex or thong wear.

Last week I enjoyed the Piedras Pintadas Trail, which is part of the San Dieguito River Park and the Coast to Crest trail system.

I was looking for a short hike this week that would not be heavily traveled.  While looking over the offerings of the San Dieguito River Park trails I decided the Dust Devil Nature Trail would fit the requirements.  It is within the San Dieguito park, but not part of the Coast to Crest trails.

Fran and I set out to do the 3 loops, from looking at the map it we decided to do the north loop first and take the trail to the right at every intersection.

The three loops of the trail are all short and dog (on leash) friendly.  We follow my plan of right turns, doing the north loop first.  Right at the trail head there is a sign describing the Dust Devils.  They are a group of volunteers who help establish and maintain the trails within the San Dieguito Park system.

The small picnic area could use a bit of attention of the Dust Devils as it is getting a bit overgrown.

Cirque du Soleil is under the big top at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Tickets start at $49 … a bit out of our range.

There are several benches spaced throughout all three loops.  I suspect this one is to watch the wildlife in the meadow, or to count the passing trucks on I-5.

Not much in wildlife, besides the lone caterpillar Fran spotted, there are quite a few waterfowl in the marsh.

The next right turn (I took this picture from the other side to avoid the sun shadows) leads to the center loop and a view point. 

This section of the trail forks, but either way leads to a view point, to be consistent we took the right fork.

Not as many flowers as I had expected, especially after the abundance of blooms along Piedras Pintadas.

The view point is a bit closer to the waterfowl.  If you come out here bring a spotting scope or binoculars to get a better view.

The backseat of my dad’s Oldsmobile would have gotten me just about as close :)

Certainly this was a good day, but do not expect to return, unless the north or south loop is extended to connect to the Coast to Crest trail system.  I hope you too have No Bad Days!


  1. At least it wasn't crowded.

  2. LOL - That is certainly true! Outside, alone and on a perfect day is worth a lot.

  3. So peaceful looking on a nice warm sunny day.

    1. Peaceful, that’s a good description of the morning.

  4. A great way to spend a few hours on a beautiful morning...

    1. It was an easy morning walk on a perfect 'Chamber of Commerce' day.


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