California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Walker Canyon Ecological Reserve - San Diego County

Location/Description: Located north of Interstate 8 (I-8) between the towns of Boulevard and Jacumba in San Diego County, the Walker Canyon Ecological Reserve (Reserve) is approximately 514 acres of mostly high desert sage-chaparral. Topography within the Reserve includes rough desert mountainous slopes with numerous rocky outcrops strewn throughout. Walker Canyon runs from the west to the southeast within the Reserve and provides seasonal water and riparian habitat along its drainage.

Map: Directional Map (PDF)

Acquisition: The Reserve was acquired from Caltrans by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) in 1969. The acquisition came in full fee title with the water, vegetation and mineral rights included.

The Reserve was purchased to maintain and enhance wildlife habitat. The US Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) McCain Valley National Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management Area is situated along the Reserves northern border. Because the Walker Canyon Reserve is contiguous with this BLM Management area, the principle management objective is to provide habitat for wildlife and to open additional land for upland and big game hunting.

Allowed uses: Hunting is allowed in accordance with the general hunting regulations.

Driving Directions and Access: From I-8 take Highway 94 south for approximately 0.5 mile to where it intersects with Old Highway 80. Turn left (east) on Old Highway 80 and follow it for approximately 2 miles to where it intersects with McCain Valley Road. Turn left (north) onto McCain Valley Road and follow McCain Valley Road for approximately 2 miles until you enter BLM land. From this point you will need to park and hike approximately 3.5 miles east to southeast through the BLM land to the Reserve.

Warning: Conditions in the area are hot and dry. Hiking conditions are difficult due to the rough terrain. Desert summertime temperatures exceed 100° Fahrenheit so bring plenty of water.