Walker Canyon Ecological Reserve


The Walker Canyon Ecological Reserve is 490 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.

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.

For more information, call the South Coast Region San Diego office at (858) 467-4201.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Trails Hunting with Shotguns Bow Hunting Deer Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting

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.

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

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

The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 2000. Little is known of the historical use of this area. Beyond low to moderate hunter use, the property has received very little human use due to its steep and mountainous terrain and limited access. There has been grazing by trespass cattle.

Map of Walker Canyon ER location - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


South Coast Region (Region 5)

San Diego County

North of Interstate 8 (I-8) between the towns of Boulevard and Jacumba. Bordered by Anza Borrego State Park on the east.

Directions: 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.

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