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Rancho Carrillo









Printable map

Surface: Paved (wheelchair accessible) and unpaved; flat to moderately hilly
Length: 4.0 (two-loop system)
Difficulty: Easy to moderately difficult

The entire trail length is approximately four miles and is divided by Melrose Drive with two closed loop routes; one on each side of Melrose Drive. The trail to the east of Melrose Drive connects to the city of San Marcos trail system in the open space corridor at Carlsbad's eastern border. The trail west of Melrose Drive connects with the future trails of Bressi Ranch, Villages of La Costa, and future trails planned at Alga Norte Community Park. The trail is unpaved with gentle slopes.

Vegetation in the open space includes riparian woodland, freshwater marsh, Baccharis scrub, and non-native grasslands. A seasonal creek within the drainage area of the open space corridor supports nesting habitat and protective cover from predators. The majority of wildlife in this habitat are small, commonly occurring mammals, reptiles, and bird species, including the California Gnatcatcher.


I -5 to Palomar Airport Road exit.
Palomar Airport Road east to Melrose Drive
Right on Melrose Drive south to Poinsettia Lane.
Right on Poinsettia Lane, continue west to stop sign (Carrillo Elementary School will be on the left).
Left into Carrillo Elementary School parking lot drive then immediately on the right is paved parking lot at trailhead.