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Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Visitor Center

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Visitor Center is nestled in a small coastal valley that runs roughly north-south. Clairemont and Linda Vista are divided by their southern half, and the west and east sections of Clairemont are divided by its northern half.

The canyon's mouth lies a mile north of the San Diego River and is spanned by Interstate 5 at the Tecolote Road interchange. At the North Clairemont Recreation Center, it almost reaches Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.

Genesee Avenue forms Tecolote Canyon Natural Park's eastern boundary. The mouth of the canyon at the Tecolote Recreation Center and the top of the steep slope parallel to Clairemont Drive and Cowley Way form the western park border.

Tecolote Park has a long history as a shelter and food source for the Kumeyaay people, stretching back to ancient times.

Tecolote, or owl in Spanish, was the given name for this widespread bird in the area following the Spanish invasion.

Judge Hyde, who established a house and started farming in Tecolote Canyon in 1872, was one of the earliest inhabitants. Ranching and Farming persisted until World War II, and cattle were still grazing the canyon as late as 1953. Residents were occasionally startled to see mounted cowboys herding stray animals out of the backyards of their rim-side homes.

Tecolote Canyon, where the Kumeyaay Indians found food and shelter centuries ago, is now a historical site. It has been identified as a geographical feature on regional maps for about two centuries. The little raptor in this canyon was given Tecolote, meaning owl.

This site was purchased by the City of San Diego and dedicated on April 1, 1978. Tecolote Canyon Natural Park was formally designated when the first Tecolote Canyon Citizens' Advisory Committee members were elected. Community members assisted in preserving and protecting the canyon's natural condition with the support of City Park Rangers.

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Nature Center now provides a range of educational and recreational activities to its guests. Around 6.5 miles of trails in the Canyon is for running, walking, and mountain biking. The Tecolote Nature Center, which has a variety of displays about the Canyon's animal and plant life, is also open to tourists. Workshops, special events, meetings and classes can also be held in the Nature Center.

"Baskets and Botany," an annual event hosted here, is a day for families to learn about Tecolote Canyon's natural and cultural ties. It is an excellent opportunity to learn from the Kumeyaay people and better understand their culture.

The festival focuses on plant knowledge and its medicinal and gastronomic applications. Here you may find out more about the Kumeyaay people and how you can help them.

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