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

The Caballo Trail is a 1.70 miles long. The southeastern trailhead is near the parking lot of the Escondido Humane Society; the northwestern trailhead intersects with the Sage Trail. The GPS reading for the trail length is 1.70 miles. The trail marker at the Sage Trail end of Caballo indicates the trail length is 2.1 miles.
It is a difficult hike with an elevation gain of 623 feet in 1.47 miles. The trail elevation starts at 729 feet and rises to 1352 feet at its highest point, and then declines to 1271 feet at the trail’s end (1.70 miles).
One can drive directly to the Caballo trailhead. There is a dirt parking area just south of the Escondido Humane Society’s parking lot. The Humane Society is located at 3450 East Valley Parkway in Escondido, California.

Once one gets to the Caballo Trailhead be sure and set your GPS unit back to 0.00. All distances displayed on the slides assume your GPS unit has been set to zero at the beginning of the hike.

The trail is in the southeast corner of Daley Ranch. It winds it way up the southeastern side of the Ranch to its meeting with the Sage Trail.
There is a small grove of Eucalyptus trees near the trailhead. Across from the grove of Eucalyptus trees are several small trees/bushes that were burned in a fire that went through the area a few years earlier.
The views of East Escondido and the hills to the east come into view at 0.24 miles into the hike (876 feet elevation). If you are hiking in the morning you will get a good view of the sun shining on the tops of the trees in the Eucalyptus grove.
A little farther down and up the trail one gets a view of the Escondido Humane Society and the Caballo trailhead. The Caballo Trail parking area is just south of the trailhead sign.
There are many points along the trail where one can look back to see an overhead view of East Escondido. The vacant land one sees in the pictures is the early stages of housing development in the area.
The steepness of the upward climb on the trail is occasionally broken as the trail traverses the sides of hills along the way. However, even then the trail is rising slowly as it makes it way around the hills.
Plant life consists of an occasional Lords Candle amid a few green bushes along the hill sides. The dead plants along the trail are due, in part, to serious fires that have passed through the park.
Dips in the trail are usually points where gullies cross the trail. Green plants are more abundant in these areas because water is more plentiful. The gullies generally start near swales in the ridgeline and continue down the hill after crossing the trail.
As one climbs higher on the trail additional views are afforded of East Escondido. Often the view is enhanced by foliage in the foreground. (Click the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
Scenes of the trail ahead and behind are visible from higher elevations on the trail. Often the view includes equestrians enjoying a ride.
The views of East Escondido are more distant as we near the end of the trail. Because of the elevation gain we are able to see East Escondido over the top of hills. In some instances the scene is like a vista with East Escondido viewed in the swales between two hills. (Click the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
The drought during 2007 initially limited the number of flowers growing along Caballo Trail. However, near the end of the trail you'll often see many California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), flowering shrubs with beautiful white flowers. When the flowers pass their prime they turn a rustic brown.
Caballo Trail ends at its intersection with the Sage Trail. The distance from the parking lot near the Escondido Humane Society to the trails end is 1.70 miles as measured via a GPS unit. The trailhead sign at the Sage Trail end of Caballo indicates a length of 2.1 miles.