This is a rather leisurely hike within the Daley Ranch conservation area. The area is named after Mr. Robert Daley, an English immigrant who settled the area in 1869 and constructed two log cabins in the valley; one on a knoll near the current ranch house and one currently submerged in a nearby pond. Mr. Daley farmed and raised horses, and when he passed, his family continued to use the land as a dairy and constructed the Daley Ranch House. The ranch house (currently occupied by a caretaker) is flanked by barns and historic structures and and a picnic area has been set up in a grassy area under the shade of large oak tress. The trees around the ranch make for excellent birding and a group of Acorn Woodpeckers can regularly be observed calling and swooping between the branches. Under threat by developers, the City of Escondido purchased the 3,058-acre area in attempt to preserve this biologically unique Mediterranean chaparral habitat, which is quickly being overtaken by urban sprawl elsewhere throughout southern California.
The hike to Stanley Peak takes you along much of the historic heritage and biological wonders of area. Notable scenery along they way includes the old ranch house, Robert Daley's log cabin, an abandoned rusty water tower, and a spectacular view overlooking the Valley Center Grade. On clear days you can even see the ocean.
3024 La Honda Drive
Escondido, CA 92027
View from Stanley Peak
Getting ThereDirections to Daley Ranch
From I15 take El Norte Parkway east for just over 3 miles then left on La Honda Drive. Follow La Honda Drive (~1.25 mi) to the dirt parking lot at the end on the left and park there.
Route to Daley Ranch
The tailhead is marked with a large archway leading into the Daley Ranch area. Pick up a map at the kiosk near the archway.
From the dirt parking lot.
Daley Ranch is full of hiking trails and there are numerous routes to Stanley Peak. Maps of the area are available at the entrance, but attached below is a loop that takes you by many of the attractive features of the reserve.
Loop route to Stanley Peak
Daley Ranch is an open space reserve and free to the public. Hikers must remain on designated trails and dogs must be leashed.
External LinksFriends of Daley Ranch
City of Escondido's Overview
Camping is available at Dixon Lake Recreation Area
directly south of Daley Ranch.