San Dieguito River Park officials recently announced that the “Rattlesnake” view platform on the Del Dios Gorge Trail has been completed. This project was to construct a viewing platform on the Del Dios Gorge Trail with views of the Lake Hodges Dam and the San Dieguito River down below in the gorge. The viewing platform was funded by the River Parkway (Proposition 84) grant funds from the State Resources Agency and constructed by architect Scott Stevenson. The grant is also funding a major eucalyptus removal and replanting with native sycamores and cottonwoods in Del Dios Gorge and trail improvements, including several covered picnic tables and benches. Dick Bobertz, executive director noted that “The project is one of the largest habitat restoration projects currently under way in Southern California.”
The viewing platform is for trail users to sit and enjoy the views of the dam and the river below. It is called the “Rattlesnake” view platform because it is made from native rock in the shape of a rattlesnake. An interpretive panel explains the place of rattlesnakes in our ecosystem. Another feature is a burned and dead tree, which provides information about the impacts of wildfires. In the center of the view platform sculpture (at the apex of the snake’s tail) is a pipe scope through which one can look and line up with another feature, marked A, B or C, which point one’s view toward a particular sight, the spillway, the bullwarks of the dam, and the river below.
The viewing platform is located just south of Del Dios Highway, downstream of Lake Hodges Dam. Please note that the view platform is only accessible from the trail, and requires a two-mile walk or ride on the trail before it can be reached. There are two ways to access the viewing platform. If headed east on Del Dios Highway make a right just after Calle Ambiente at the Lemon Twist Fruit Stand to the Del Dios Gorge Trailhead and Staging Area; head east on the trail for approximately 2 miles. If headed west on Del Dios Highway make a left on Rancho Drive and park at the trailhead at the bottom of the hill; head west on the trail towards the dam for approximately 2 miles. For more information or maps visit www.sdrp.org.
Established in 1989, the San Dieguito River Park is a 94,000-acre open space greenway of regional significance in San Diego’s North County.
For more information, including trail maps and activities, visit