Rancho Penasquitos

Rancho Peñasquitos is bounded to the north by Black Mountain Ranch and Rancho Bernard...

Welcome to Rancho Peñasquitos

Quiet suburban community beside large open space preserve

Rancho Peñasquitos is a peaceful suburban community abutting the 4,000-acre Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in north-eastern San Diego. This peaceful community is characterized by wide-open spaces, breathtaking natural beauty, and hiking and biking trails that extend into the surrounding mountains and preserves. Rancho Peñasquitos is bounded to the north by Black Mountain Ranch and Rancho Bernardo, to the east by Carmel Mountain Ranch, Poway, and Sabre Springs, to the south by Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Mira Mesa, and to the west by Torrey Highlands and Del Mar Mesa.

Rancho Peñasquitos’ real estate mostly consists of spacious single-family homes on quiet private streets and cul-de-sacs. Development has generally moved from east to west homes in the east were mostly constructed in the 1970s and ‘80s, while those in the west are newer. Housing options vary throughout Rancho Peñasquitos, where the most sought-after properties boast breathtaking ocean views.

What to Love

  • Peaceful suburban vibe
  • Near shopping centers
  • Surrounded by trails 
  • Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

People & Lifestyle

Rancho Peñasquitos offers a calm suburban lifestyle within easy reach of other San Diego areas. High-ranking local schools make the community popular with young families. The surrounding scenery is full of gorgeous open spaces, and the beach is just a short drive away.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

The large open-air shopping plaza of Carmel Mountain Plaza is located at Rancho Peñasquitos’ northwestern edge. Businesses here include dozens of fashion boutiques, specialty stores, and big-box retailers, such as Trader Joe’s. Unique businesses include Angelika Film Center & Café, which screens a diverse mix of blockbuster, foreign, and independent films in a luxurious state-of-the-art space. Carmel Mountain Plaza’s many restaurants include laid-back Yesenia’s Mexcian Food’s authentic burritos, enchiladas, and asada fries. 

Other eateries within Rancho Peñasquitos include Nutmeg Bakery & Café on Sabre Springs Parkway. This modern bakery serves artisanal pastries and treats, as well as breakfast and lunch dishes that use fresh organic produce sourced from local farmers and fishermen.

More shops and restaurants can be found at the Spanish-style Plaza Rancho Peñasquitos, which has a 24-hour fitness center, Armstrong Garden Centers, Hawaiian coffee roasters Bad Ass Coffee, and organic grocery market Stater Bros. Across the street from Plaza Rancho Peñasquitos is Andell’s Bakery & Kitchen, an Asian-Pacific bakery specializing in Filipino and Vietnamese-style foods and baked goods. Andell’s signature Londres sponge cake is a must-try.

Things to Do

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is one of the nation’s largest urban parks, covering the area surrounding the Peñasquitos and Lopez Canyons. Hiking trails lead through 14 distinct habitat areas along the 7-mile length of the preserve, which is home to more than 500 plant species, 175 varieties of bird, and many more native animal species, many of which are endangered and unique to the area. The gorgeous scenery includes cascading waterfalls, forests and groves of towering Californian oaks and sycamore trees, and streams and fresh-water marshes. 

The historic 1823 Adobe Ranch House is located within the preserve. Once owned by Captain Francisco Ruiz, Adobe Ranch House is the oldest house in the San Diego area. There are also numerous archeological sites located here, stretching back through 7,000 years of Native American history. 

Other local recreation spaces include Rancho Peñasquitos Skate Park. This 22,000-square-foot facility has a huge selection of pipes, ramps, and concrete skating surfaces.

The festive light displays along Christmas Card Lane have been a beloved Rancho Peñasquitos tradition since the 1980s. Many residents join in the festivities by erecting lights in their yards the most elaborate of which take weeks to set up.


Local public schools belong to the Poway Unified School District.

  • Deer Canyon Elementary School, Public, K-5
  • Park Village Elementary School, Public, K-5
  • Westview High School, Public, 9-12
  • Mt. Carmel High School, Public, 9-12
  • Preuss School UDCS, Public, Charter, 6-12

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