Daley Ranch – Escondido, California


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I love going on a hike that includes a history lesson. In fact, it is probably the only time I get stoked about history! 😦 I also really like the fact that this hike was so close to my house. As I dug deeper to find out more about the ranch I found it has an interesting background which made me want to visit it even more.

A young English immigrant named Robert Daley, one of the first recorded English Settlers to the valley arrived in 1869. In 1875 Mr. Daley was granted two claims of 160 acres each. Eventually, Mr. Daley gained land totaling roughly 3000 acres. 

Early on the ranch was used for cattle and even a dairy. The goods from the ranch would be taken to San Diego via wagon to sell. 

In 1996 the Escondido City Council voted to protect the 3,058 acre ranch by purchasing it and converting it into a habitat preserve. 

Searching for as much information as I could find on the ranch I found that on March 6, 2018 plans to build a 225-room resort and 203 homes were submitted to the city for approval. This new development is supposed to be built east of the Daley Ranch and occupy 1,800 acres of land between the ranch and Lake Wohlford. Reading about this was the deciding factor of this trip. I wanted to get out there and hike here before they decide to build anything nearby even though it will be a few years before the city will come to a decision on the matter.

There are several hiking trails offered at the ranch which allow you to make your hike as long and/or as difficult as you would like. Our hike today was a little over 5 miles with some steep grades here and there but I enjoyed every bit of it. Dogs are also allowed. 🙂


We got to the parking lot a little before 8 am. It was already pretty crowded but we found a spot without any trouble.

There was wild lilac everywhere!


The first time I spotted the Ranch House it appeared to be closed off with a sign sort of laughing at me. I was a little sad for a moment until we rounded the corner and saw the ranch house perfectly! We couldn’t get close to it but it was still really cool! I am going to have to go back some Sunday when they open the house to the public.

I had a funny conversation about hiking with my friend Patrick the other day. The conversation resulted in my decision to narrate my next hike for Patrick so that he would feel like he was hiking with me!

This hike is for you Patrick! You know who you are!







Up close and personal with a gopher!


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The route we took is highlighted in yellow.

Until next time…happy trails!




Escondido’s Daley Ranch Website

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