Hellhole Canyon Preserve


19324 Santee Lane
Valley Center, CA 92082

Park Phone: (760) 742-1631

Hours: 8 a.m. - sunset, Friday - Monday*
Pedestrian access available sunrise to sunset*, Friday - Monday, no public vehicle access or restroom availability on December 25.
*Closed Tuesday - Thursday, and in August, due to extreme heat 

Directions: From Escondido take East Valley Parkway to N. Lake Wohlford Rd. Go right on N. Lake Wohlford Rd. for 6 miles to Paradise Mountain Rd. Make a right at Paradise Mountain Rd. Take Paradise Mountain Rd. for 3.5 miles to Kiavo Rd. Take Kiavo Rd. one block to Santee Lane and make a left up the preserve entrance.

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Location Map


  • Equestrian Staging Area
  • Vault Restrooms
  • ADA Look-out Point
  • 10 Primitive Campsites for Organized Youth Groups Only
  • Small Amphitheater
  • 1,907 Acres
  • Potable Water Available in the Staging Area


Hellhole Canyon Preserve is a 1,907 acre preserve that offers 13.5 miles of moderate to advanced trail opportunities. An equestrian friendly staging area has ample trailer parking, vault restrooms, potable water, an ADA look out point and small amphitheater. The main trail descends from the staging area to the riparian zone astride Hell Creek. Here hikers will find a reprieve from the sun as mature Sycamore and oak trees line the creek bed. The trails beyond Hell Creek began to challenge hikers as they rise out of the creek bed and transition into the chaparral plant community. As the trail continue on into the preserve interior they wind up Rodriguez Mountain and become more advanced, but the serenity and views are worth the effort. On a clear day the Pacific Ocean can be seen from the top of Rodriguez Mountain. The preserve is home to a wide variety of plant life and animals, with dawn and dusk being the best time to spot wildlife.


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