Have you ever heard about the San Luis Rey River or the San Luis Rey Watershed?
This beautiful, wild watershed is located in northern San Diego County, covering roughly 360,000 acres (562 square miles), making it the largest watershed completely within our county. It spans from Hot Springs Mountain (at 6,535 feet, the highest peak in San Diego County) to the east, all the way to the lovely Oceanside beaches to the west. In between these two spots, the San Luis Rey River runs 55 miles long before emptying into the Pacific Ocean, and has a complex surface/sub-surface interplay depending on where you are within the watershed. Palomar Mountain, along the northern edge, has some of the highest rainfall averages (30-35 inches/year) in the county. There are eight different Native American Tribes (seven reservations) here in our watershed, providing us with a rich history that sets us apart from many other areas. There are many communities within our watershed, including: Oceanside, Vista, Bonsall, Fallbrook, Pala, Pauma, Valley Center, and Warner Springs.
The San Luis Rey Watershed has hiking trails and observatories, state parks and beaches, famous mineral deposits and hot springs, beautiful oak riparian corridors and rugged chaparral scrubland, agricultural riches and abundant wildlife, to name just a few of our resources. With all that available, don’t you think it’s time for you to get out and explore the San Luis Rey Watershed?
The San Luis Rey (SLR) Watershed Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, strives to protect the natural resources within this beautiful watershed. It is made up of many different stakeholders, all of whom live, work, or play within the San Luis Rey Watershed. Members range from individuals who just love to explore our hiking trails and beaches, to organizations that are tasked with protecting the natural and cultural resources of the San Luis Rey Watershed.
We work hard to get the general public engaged in getting out and exploring their watershed, so that they better understand just how vast it is. Our hope is that once people explore all of the nooks and crannies of this large watershed, they will fall in love with it, like we have, and seek to protect it.