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El Capitan Mitigation Property

photo credit:  Andrew BorcherThe El Capitan Mitigation Preserve is a 385 acre open space preserve set aside for the protection of the sensitive plant species Lakeside ceanothus (pictured at right).

The property was acquired by San Diego Gas and Electric in 2013 as mitigation for one its projects. Ownership was subsequently transferred to the San Diego River Park Foundation so that it could be maintained in perpetuity in conformance with a Conservation Easement which was placed over the entire property.



Access: Currently CLOSED

While the majority of San Diego River Park Foundation lands are open for hiking, the Conservation Easement over this property restricts access to the public to protect the sensitive resources. Staff-led tours are held annually in the winter/spring for members of the public to visit the preserve and learn more about its conservation.  

The next hike will be in February 2024.

Events will be posted here and on our event calendar, so check back!


Volunteer opportunities occur year-round and permission for educational and research uses are evaluated on a case by case basis. Advanced SDRPF approval is required. Contact Natalie, Senior Program Manager, to learn more about volunteer opportunities or request access permission.    

Species Highlights:

The El Capitan Mitigation Preserve is home to hundreds of plants and animals including many sensitive species such as mountain lions, golden eagles, southern mule deer and Blainville’s horned lizard. Below are a few species highlights:


  • Lakeside ceanothus: Lakeside ceanothus is an evergreen shrub that reaches up to 15 feet in height. It produces brilliant deep blue flowers from April to June. Lakeside ceanothus is only found in San Diego County and northern Baja California, Mexico.


  • Golden eagle: Golden eagles are a fully protected species. Golden eagle pairs mate for life, and the preserve is part of a nesting territory for a pair that uses the rocky cliffs to nest. Human disturbance can disrupt their nesting and cause failure.


  • Orcutt’s brodiaea: a purple flowering perennial plant in the lily family. Like Lakeside ceanothus, this species is found only in this region and is rare. It grows in wet seep areas on the preserve.



El Capitan Preserve Real-Time Weather Station:

Through a partnership with the San Diego Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, a real-time weather station was installed on the property in 2019. This weather station provides rainfall, wind and temperature data to inform Preserve management.


Click here to view the current conditions.  


Our thanks to Steve Weathers and Ann Ramirez for their donations to support the purchase of the rainfall, solar radiation, humidity and pressure sensors!



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