The content on this page is from William Sherrard's e-book
Hiker’s Guide to the Trails of Dixon Lake and Daley Ranch.

Stanley Peak is along the eastern edge of the Daley Ranch. It provides a corridor for animals to move between Daley Ranch and other land owned by the City of Escondido on the eastern side of the ranch.

Stanley Peak was added to Daley Ranch in 2006 when the Escondido City Council authorized its purchase. Following its purchase a trail was opened between the Sage Trail and the peak, with a shorter connecting trail between the Sage and Stanley Peak Trails via the Old Tank Trail.

The trail gets its “difficult” rating from the elevation gain between the Sage Trail and Stanley Peak. The trail rises from 1,618 to 1,958 feet (340 feet) in the 0.73 mile distance between the trailhead and the peak.
There are several possible routes for getting to the Stanley Peak Trailhead. One route starts at the Caballo Trailhead near the Escondido Humane Society Parking lot and connects with the Sage Trail, thence down the Sage Trail to the Stanley Peak Trailhead. There is considerable elevation gain via this route, from about 729 ft in the parking lot to 1,958 ft at the top.

The shortest route from the La Honda Drive entrance is less arduous than the Caballo Trail route, i.e., instead of starting at an altitude of 729 feet, a la the Caballo trailhead, one starts at 1,185 feet. The route shown below starts at the La Honda Drive parking lot and traverses the Creek Crossing Trail to its juncture with the East Ridge Trail. A short distance northwest on East Ridge brings one to the Coyote Run Trailhead. One hikes northeast on Coyote Run to the Sage Trail, thence north on the Sage Trail to the Stanley Peak Trailhead. The total distance via this route to the Stanley Peak Trailhead is 2.24 miles.
If you are using a GPS unit on the hike be sure and set it back to 0.00 at the trailhead. All distances displayed on the slides assume your GPS unit has been set to zero at the beginning of the hike.

The GPS reading for the length of the Stanley Peak Trail is 0.73 miles, very close to the reading of 0.70 miles shown on the trailhead sign. The trail starts out rather flat for the first quarter mile, but at the “Meadow Restoration” Sign on the gate blocking entrance to the meadow area the trail starts its incline to the peak.

The trail is wide enough for the passage of trucks operated by the Park Rangers. With the exception of the altitude gain Stanley Peak is an easy trail to hike.
Very shortly after leaving the trailhead one gets a view of the Meadow. It covers several acres and lies to the north of the trail for almost a quarter of a mile.
The first quarter of a mile along the trail shows some evidence of a fire having moved through the area in the past. There has been enough time for burned trees to have staged a recovery as evidenced by the green foliage at the base of the trees. Branches of the burned trees make an interesting silhouette against the sky. (Click the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
At the quarter mile mark there is a gate advising hikers that the area ahead is a “Meadow Restoration Area” and to “Keep Out.” The trail turns right and very shortly we see a yellow gate blocking entrance to another area and a Stanley Peak Trail marker. At this point the trail begins its ascent to Stanley Peak. (Click the image at right for another slideshow!)
A quarter of a mile beyond the Stanley Peak Trail marker sign one meets the trailhead for the eastern end of the Old Tank Trail. Just beyond this point the trail affords some views of the ‘Old Tank” and an overview of Daley Ranch to the west. (Click the image at right for yet another slideshow!)
Stanley Peak is a favorite trail for bicyclists because it is wide and devoid of large rocks on the trail. The challenge is mastering the altitude gain.
Just short of the peak at 0.67 Miles from the trailhead is an excellent overview of Daley Ranch to the west. From this spot the Old Tank is visible below. Beyond the tank the Sage Trail is seen going past Mallard Pond.
At the apex of Stanley Peak is a rock large enough for one to lie on and stare up at the sky. It is an excellent spot for resting after making the climb to the top.
There are some spectacular views from Stanley Peak. Looking down to the north one sees the road leading to Valley Center and a development to the east. The latter has a road winding up to houses in the area.
To the south are views of East Escondido. Again the road leading from East Escondido to Valley Center is visible in the distance.