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Founders' Trail Historic Sites

Cabrillo National Monument ~ Old Town ~ Presidio Park
Mission San Diego ~ Mission Trails Park ~ Rancho Penasquitos
San Pasqual Battlefield ~ Mission San Luis Rey ~ Rancho Guajome

Here is information about each of the Founders' Trail historic sites, and the park or museum associated with it; including directions, hours of operation, admission (many are free), contacts, and a link to each organization's own website, where available.

For questions about the parks, museums or historic sites, please contact the member organizations directly. For questions about this website, contact Webmaster.

9 Member Historic Sites & Museums

National Park Service
photo - Cabrillo National MonumentCabrillo National Monument commemorates the first European expedition to explore the west coast of the United States; its location overlooks the site where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo is said to have landed in 1542. The 160-acre monument contains one of the original lighthouses built on the west coast, together with remnants of World War I and II coastal defenses. In addition, this beautiful setting with its world-class view protects one of the few remaining stands of coastal sage scrub vegetation and an outstanding rocky intertidal (tide pool) area. There is also a good vantage point to see the annual gray whale migration.

Open daily, 9am-5:15pm; $5.00 per car. National Park Service,
U.S. Department of the Interior.
Address 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106-3601

Take Rosecrans St. west from I-5, turn right on Canon St., turn left on Catalina Blvd.

Phone (619) 557-5450
e-mail CABR Administration@nps.gov
Website www.nps.gov/cabr/

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2 Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
California State Parks
photo - Old Town San DiegoEstablished in 1968, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park occupies six square blocks on the site of the original Pueblo of San Diego. The historic buildings and shops reflect the cross-cultural influences of Southern California life during the Mexican and Early American eras, 1821-1872. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about this period of San Diego's history through exhibits, living history demonstrations, and walking tours of the park.

Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm. State of California Department of Parks and Recreation
Address 4002 Wallace St
San Diego, CA 92110

Take Taylor St. exit off Highway 8, or Old Town Ave., exit off Highway 5.

Phone (619) 220-5422
e-mail oldtown@ixpres.com
Website cal-parks.ca.gov

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3 Junipero Serra Museum & Presidio Site
San Diego Historical Society ~ City of San Diego Park & Recreation
photo - Serra Museum & Presidio SiteThe museum stands prominently atop Presidio Hill, sometimes referred to as "The Plymouth Rock of the West Coast." The first mission and European settlement on the west coast of the United States and Canada were founded here in 1769. Visitors can view part of the settlement's ruins located down the hill from the museum. The museum contains thousands of artifacts unearthed by archaeologists, together with many other items used by the local Native Americans, missionaries, soldiers, and settlers who occupied San Diego during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Hours: Daily, 10am-4:30pm.
Adults-$5; Seniors, Students, Military-$4; children (12 & under)-$2.
Address 2727 Presidio Drive
San Diego, CA

Take I-8 to Talyor Street. Turn left on Presidio Drive and follow signs to the very top of the hill.

Phone (619) 297-3258 ~ Information
e-mail e-mail@sandiegohistory.org
Website www.sandiegohistory.org

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4 Mission San Diego de Alcala
Catholic Diocese of San Diego
photo - Mission San Diego de AlcalaThe "Mother of the Missions," this is the first in the chain of twenty-one California Missions. See the fully restored church, beautiful gardens, and displays of artifacts from the original inhabitants of the site.

Docent tours available upon request as well as "Tote-a-tapes" in English, Spanish, & Japanese. Open daily. Adults: $3; Children, 12 & under: $1; Seniors (over 55): $2.

Address 10818 San Diego Mission Rd.
San Diego, CA 92108

Take I-8 to I-15 N, exit Friars Rd. east. Turn right on Rancho Mission Rd., left on San Diego Mission Rd.

Phone (619) 281-8449 ~Visitor Center

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5 Mission Trails Regional Park
City of San Diego Park & Recreation
photo - Mission Trails Regional ParkMission Trails Regional Park is a natural park rich in Native American and Mission Period history. Use over 40 miles of trails to explore an area that has not changed drastically since the days of the Kumeyaay. Visit numerous Native American sites and learn about the building of the Mission Dam, the first European water supply project in what is now the western United States.

No fee. City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, Open Space Division.
Address One Junipero Serra Trail
San Diego, CA 92119

Take Mission Gorge Road (North from I-8 or West from SR-52). Visitor Center located on Father Junipero Serra Trail between Jackson Dr. and Golfcrest Dr.

Phone (619) 668-3281 ~Visitor Center
e-mail mtrp@mtrp.org
Website mtrp.org

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6 Rancho de los Penasquitos
San Diego County Parks & Recreation
photo - Rancho de los PenasquitosSan Diego County's first Mexican land grant includes an 1823 adobe ranch house constructed by the Commandante of the San Diego Presidio. In 1846, Rancho los Penasquitos was the first place of rest for General Stephen Watts Kearny and his Army of the West after the Battle of San Pasqual. Enlarged in 1862 as the gracious home of a celebrated Yankee river boat captain and his wife, the niece of California's last Mexican governor, Pio Pico, the building and site comprise a National Historic and Archaeological District. The beautiful canyon locale within a 3700-acre open space preserve offers hiking, biking and equestrian trails.

Grounds are open 8:00-4:00 daily. Ranch House tours on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ~ Donation
Address 12020 Black Mountain Road
San Diego, CA 92129

I-15 to Mercy Rd. exit. Go West on Mercy, right on Black Mtn. Rd., and left at first light. Follow entry road to Ranch House parking area.

Phone (858) 484-7504
e-mail Autumn.Acker@sdcounty.ca.gov
Website ~website not available~

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7 San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park
California State Parks
photo - San Pasqual BattlefieldDuring the first year of the Mexican War, December 6, 1846, California General Andres Pico attacked the newly arrived occupational force of General Kearny. The Visitor's Center interprets the Battle as well as its place in the Mexican War.

No fee.
School Programs Available ~ call 760-480-6320
Address 15808 San Pasqual Valley Road
(State Hwy 78), Escondido, CA 92025

Follow the signs to the Wild Animal Park, and continue1 mile beyond it.

Phone (760) 737-2201
e-mail oldtown@ixpres.com
Website cal-parks.ca.gov

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8 Mission San Luis Rey
Franciscan Friars of California
photo - Mission San Luis ReyMission San Luis Rey de Francia is the eighteenth of twenty-one California Missions founded by the Franciscan Friars for Spain. A museum welcomes visitors to experience and learn about this National Historic landmark. Artifacts exhibited are from Native American, Spanish Mission, Mexican Secularization and American Military periods. The cemetery is the oldest in North County and contains a monument built in 1830 in memory of the Luiseno Indians, this area's first inhabitants.

Open daily. Adults-$5, students-$3, children (under 7)-free. Annual Pass-$25.00
Group tours are available with advance reservations.
Address 4050 Mission Ave (State Hwy 76)
San Luis Rey, CA 92068

Exit 76, Mission Ave. from either I-5 or I-15.

Phone (858) 757-3651
e-mail museum@sanluisrey.org
Website www.sanluisrey.org

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9 Rancho de Guajome Adobe
San Diego County Parks & Recreation
photo - Rancho de Guajome AdobeRancho Guajome hacienda depicts a unique example of Anglo-Hispanic architecture built on an original Mexican land grant. Distinguished as a National Historic Landmark for its contribution to our nation's history, the rambling twenty-room adobe ranch house, built with huge profits from the cattle boom of the 1850's, bustled in its heyday with extravagant fiestas, lively rodeos, and constant visitors. Noted author Helen Hunt Jackson stayed at Guajome while she gathered material for her famous novel Ramona. Guajome County Park also offers a rich riparian area, marshes, spring-fed lakes, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping.

No fee.
Address 2210 N. Santa Fe Ave
Vista, CA 92083

I-5 to Hwy. 76 East, past Mission San Luis Rey 2.4 miles. Turn right on North Santa Fe, proceed 2 miles to Guajome Adobe Ranch House.

Phone (760) 724-4082 ~ Information
e-mail Hector.Live@sdcounty.ca.gov
Website historyandculture.com/guajome

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