Sweetwater Interpretive Loop

San Diego NWR entrance sign on Millar Ranch Road

The Sweetwater Interpretive Loop on the San Diego NWR is a great place to start exploring the refuge.

The Sweetwater Interpretive Loop is also locally known as the "old steel bridge" trailhead location. The refuge property does not start until you reach the wooden informational kiosk, which leads you to a tiny bridge over Steele Canyon Creek, and up onto the rest of the trail system, eventually connecting to the Sweetwater River Trail, on County land. Access to this particular trail from the south is available at the nearby County Sweetwater Summit Campground site, which eventually leads east to the National Wildlife Refuge.  If you are interested in a guided nature tour of this area of the refuge, check out our monthly hiking event, "Hike with a Ranger."




Take the 94 East to Jamul/Rancho San Diego.  The 94 eventually turns into a roadway that leads to a large shopping center.  Turn right, continuing on HWY 94 (Campo Road).  If you continue straight, this road turns into Jamacha, or HWY 54.

In about 1/4 mile, turn right onto Singer Lane, a small road just across from the McGrath Family YMCA.  You will see the big steel bridge with a small parking area half-paved and half-dirt. This parking area There are no signs. Park here and walk across the bridge.  You will see a small trail peeking out that will lead you to a wooden kiosk with refuge information.