March 2022 Activity: Lake Hodges Nature Walk

You are invited to join SCPS chair and certified chaparral naturalist Alexander S. Kunz for our March 2022 outdoor activity: a nature walk at Lake Hodges in Rancho Bernardo. Please continue reading for a description, the date and time, and meeting point.

As usual, this is not a Sierra Club outing. No Certified Outing Leader will be present. You may join, leave, participate as you wish on the scheduled date, and at your own risk. Please continue reading for the details.

Our hike will take us from the Rancho Bernardo Community Center to the south side of Lake Hodges past a few wet areas, a creek with historical bridge towards a ravine with a small waterfall, and past ancient Indian rock art. We continue into a small riparian area before continuing slightly uphill to an overlook from where we can see the lake and also get a nice view of Bernardo Mountain.

It is spring and after the recent rains, things are greening up nicely. Ceanothus is in bloom and some wildflowers are peeking out of the ground too. Whether you like landscapes, macro, plants or birds, this hike will provide a photography subject for everyone. Alexander will point out noteworthy features and plants along the way, like the rock art, the rare San Diego Sagewort, and more.

The total distance is ~3 miles (4.8 kilometers) round trip on well maintained trails with only very little elevation gain/loss. Wear sturdy hiking shoes nevertheless, always bring water and a snack or two.


  • Date & Time: Saturday, March 12, 2022, 3 PM
  • Meeting Point: trail access between Rancho Bernardo Recreation Center and Rancho Bernardo Community Tennis Club
  • Directions:
    • use I-15 and take exit 26, West Bernardo Drive/Pomerado Road
    • whether you’re exiting southbound or northbound, turn left (west), onto West Bernardo Drive
    • important: drive PAST the (usually very busy) dirt parking lot on your right
    • at the traffic light by the Casa de las Campanas retirement community, make a right-turn on Rancho Bernardo Community Park/Driveway
    • continue past the basketball court on your left and the Recreation Center building, then
    • park your vehicle, and find your people (can be identified by camera gear and excited looks😅)
  • Alternatively, use the Google Maps directions for the Rancho Bernardo Community Tennis Club;
    (the address is 18402 West Bernardo Dr, San Diego, CA 92128; this will take you a little bit past our meeting point)

Camera Gear

With the wide range of subjects available on this trail, standard zoom lens (24-xxx range), macro lens, telezoom or super-tele (birds; rock art) can all be useful. Since we’re hiking in afternoon light, a tripod will be optional. We plan to be back at our starting point before it gets dark.


This map is centered on the Rancho Bernardo Community Tennis Club which, as mentioned above, will take you a little bit past our meeting point:

The event is open to the public. If you also want to participate in our monthly photo quest, our annual contest, and receive invites to our Zoom online meetings, please consider joining the Photo Section.

2 thoughts on “March 2022 Activity: Lake Hodges Nature Walk”

  1. Hi!
    Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the nature walk. I would love to try it and was wondering what the name of the trail is and how to access it from the lot you mentioned to us for parking.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me about this…thanks so much!!


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