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About Us

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in San Diego, California, committed to the sustainable management of the natural resources within the San Dieguito Watershed. Our primary focus is the protection and preservation of the San Dieguito River corridor.

During nearly four decades of dedicated work, we have turned the vision of the 92,000-acre San Dieguito River Park, and its 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain, into a thriving reality.

Support from hundreds of passionate members is the driving force behind the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. Together with the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA), fellow non-profits, community members, landowners, governmental agencies, and other stakeholders, we are on a mission to preserve natural resources, foster education, and provide diverse recreational opportunities across the San Dieguito River watershed.


The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy preserves, protects, and shares the natural and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley through collaborative efforts to acquire lands, complete trails, restore habitats, establish educational programs, create interpretive centers, encourage recreation, and mobilize public support.

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Spanning approximately 900 square miles from Volcan Mountain’s headwaters to its outlet into the Pacific Ocean at Del Mar, the San Dieguito River watershed is vital for Southern California's ecological health. The watershed hosts numerous habitats, including chaparral, oak woodlands, riparian corridors, and coastal wetlands. This diverse landscape supports a wide range of wildlife and is home to endangered species such as the California least tern and the southwestern willow flycatcher.


Within the watershed lies the expansive, 92,000-acre San Dieguito River Park. Within the River Park, the nearly-completed, 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail eventually will run from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain. As the backbone of the trail network within the River Park, the Coast to Crest Trail is a regional resource for hiking, biking, birdwatching and nature exploration. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the river valley, encounter diverse wildlife, and learn about the area's natural history through interpretive signs and educational programs.


The San Dieguito River Park doubles as a sanctuary for wildlife and haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Managed by the San Dieguito River Park JPA and supported by local communities and organizations, the park exemplifies a shared commitment to preserving natural beauty, promoting public access, and fostering environmental stewardship for future generations.

The history of the creation of the San Dieguito River Park can be found here.

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Since 1986, the Conservancy has supported the planning and development of the 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail. As a quasi-governmental agency, the San Dieguito River Park JPA is responsible for trail construction, management and ranger services. Spanning from the Pacific Ocean at Del Mar to Volcan Mountain north of Julian, the Coast to Crest Trail provides easy access to the natural beauty of the entire San Dieguito Watershed. Alongside the trail, interpretive panels and signage offer educational insights to enriching the experience for all visitors.

Trail Maps and Park Rules may be found on the JPA’s website


The status of the unfinished segments of the Coast to Crest Trail can be found here.

San Dieguito Lagoon Resources

The website provides a wealth of information on the history of the River Park and ongoing conservation efforts. Visit the website for detailed plant and animal profiles and tips for creating wildlife-friendly gardens. 

Our Partners

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