facebook facebook youtube

South Rim - Upper San Diego River Gorge

Your gift today can help save an amazing open space forever!

Video by Jim Karnik Films on Vimeo.


Map (PDF):Showing recently conserved properties (in red, yellow and light purple) within the north portion of this focus area


More than a decade ago, we identified the importance of conserving open space in the upper reaches of the San Diego River. This area is rich in biodiversity. We learned that on the Pine Hills side of the upper river, there was an island of privately owned properties surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest.

This significant area we call the "South Rim."

This open space is not only vital for wildlife but beautiful with stunning views of the Upper San Diego River Gorge.

Our teams have documented the movement of large mammals such as cougar, bobcat, deer, badger and fox through this area. Acquisiton of this land will allow these magnificent and important critters what they need to roam freely,

With stands of Engelmann and live oaks, native grasslands, wildflowers, and seasonal wetlands, the land is important ecologically for many reasons.

The development of just one of these privately owned properties, could destroy the biological integrity of the area. We strive to acquire as many of these properties as possible. We have already acquired more than 20!

Beautiful open space worth conserving

Beautiful and scenic property you can help conserve!

Location: near Julian and Pine Hills off Eagle Peak Road
Location - Google Map Click Here


Your gift today to our Land Acquisition Fund enables pursuit of buying this land so it can be conserved. Your donation today allows us to have the funds available to act quickly, especially when a property is put up for sale.

All gifts are greatly appreciate. Whether it is $10, $100 or $1,000, each together raises the funds needed to purchase a property. Thank you!


A great option is to join the Wildlife Club

The Wildlife Club are individuals who want to invest in this program by signing up for a monthly donation of just $8 or more. For a small donation each month, you can help sustain this effort. Learn more today!


  • Donate by mail, click here for a printable form (PDF)
    or simply mail a check to:
    The San Diego River Park Foundation
    4891 Pacific Highway, Suite 114
    San Diego, CA 92110
    Memo: Land Acquisition Fund

  • Stock Gifts- click here

  • Donate by phone - call 619-297-7380 T- F 9 - 12
    (due to the pandemic our office is open on a limited basis)

We like to acknowledge your generous gift. It is a way to say thank you and to inspire others. click here for details

The San Diego River Park Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit EIN 01-0565671

You can also join us on a future hike or outing to the area. Contact us via email to let us know of your interest.


Friend of South Rim
$10 - $99: Receive an invitation to next open house or dedication ceremony and be listed on this website (if desired). Future events may be by ZOOM and in person.

$100 - $249: Receive the South Rim mug plus Friend benefits.

$250 - $499 Receive the South Rim tumbler plus Friend benefits.

$500 - $999 Get a plaque on a donor bench along a trail at or near the next property being conserved plus Friend benefits. We will contact you about your plaque.

$1000 - $4999: Be recognized on the dedication sign of the next property acquired to be located at Eagle Peak Ranch plus Friend benefits. You will also be invited to join the River Park Foundation's Conservation Society for one year (or extension of one year if current member).

$5000+: Receive prominent recognition on the dedication sign for the next acquisition. The sign will be located at Eagle Peak Ranch. Plus receive Friend benefits. You will be invited to join the River Park Foundation's Conservation Society for one year (or extension of one year if current member).


Current Project(s)

  • We currently are in discussions with three owners! We will post details when we have reached an agreement!

    For more information or to learn about other ways to get involved, contact our CEO Rob Hutsel at or call (619) 244-7024.

to all who donated to make recent acquisitions possible

Special thanks to
the Hervey Family Fund at The San Diego Foundation

Elwyn Heller Foundation of San Diego

for your support of efforts to conserve the North Phase of the South Rim Project


Thank you to the

River Wildlife Club
for their monthly gifts that enable us to pursue these opportunities!

Click here to learn more about the Wildlife Club

Gifts are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
EIN 01-0565671



Sign up for our free Newsletter and get up to date information.
Sign up today »