Hike and Fish at Lake Calavera

Lake Calavera - Search Nearby - Added by Dane

360 degree view of North County San Diego on a 40 million year old Volcano. Endless mountain biking trails, fishing, and wildlife.

Lake Calavera Preserve is located in Carlsbad, CA and is home to one of North America's smallest volcanoes. It is the end peak of each trail and is what's known as a "volcanic plug" (cool hardened lava). The northern face of Mount Calavera is that of columnar joints- columns of molded lava. Geologists believe the volcano erupted 15-20 million years ago leaving behind columns of lava which make Mount Calavera what it is today.

Lake Calavera also has an abundance of fishing and wildlife. So if you plan on fishing, there are plenty of spots on shore, as well as locations to launch a raft or kayak to troll the water. The Lake also provides a great number of birds and other animals which make this place a must go for photographers.

The main trailhead begins off Tamarack Ave starting with a paved road. This road eventually leads you to the dam, which dates back to the Second World War. You will cross the Lake and over look a creek off the hillside which runs during the winter months. The path continues looping toward Mount Calavera. Once you reach the top head back down the south side of the peak and you will continue the long, but scenic way back to the main trailhead (6.24mi).

Distance

6.24 Miles RT

Type

Loop

Activities

Fishing, Photography, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

From $60/night

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Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Is fishing legal?

I'm curious if you contacted the city or another agency to confirm fishing is legal here. I've been searching online and found conflicting information. Please let us know your sources of information.

Made My Day

Took my parents and pup here for a hike and it made for a fun afternoon. Volcano is incredible and even more fun to hike up. Theres tons of mountain bike trails that you can also hike around through- you could spend a whole day here exploring!

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