Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego

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Coordinates: 32°57′33.84″N 117°06′56.07″W / 32.9594000°N 117.1155750°W / 32.9594000; -117.1155750

Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego
Community of San Diego
Rancho Peñasquitos
Rancho Peñasquitos and neighborhood boundaries
Rancho Peñasquitos and neighborhood boundaries
Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego is located in Northeastern San Diego
Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego
Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego
Location within Northeastern San Diego
Coordinates: 32°57′34″N 117°06′56″W / 32.9594°N 117.115575°W / 32.9594; -117.115575
Country  United States of America
State  California
County San Diego
City San Diego
Website Official website

Rancho Peñasquitos is a suburban community in the northeastern part of the city of San Diego, California. It is named after the first Mexican land grant in the county, Rancho Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos. Peñasquitos means little cliffs in Spanish. It abuts Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, an open space preserve that offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. The community is commonly abbreviated "PQ."

The population of PQ is approximately 55,000; it is located in ZIP code 92129. The telephone area code is 858.


Rancho Peñasquitos is roughly bounded:

The highest point in the community is Black Mountain, which rises to an elevation of 1,500 feet (460 m).[1]


Native American Kumeyaay history within the area dates back as far as 7,000 years ago. Remains of the prehistoric culture can still be found. Rancho de los Peñasquitos was present-day San Diego County's first rancho, the Rancho Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos. In 1823, one league (4,243 acres; 17 km²) was awarded to Captain Francisco María Ruiz, a Commandant of the Presidio of San Diego.[2] This one league was at the eastern part of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon and extended into Sabre Springs and up to Rancho Bernardo.

It was a way station on the Wagon road to Warner's Ranch from San Diego. From 1857 to 1860 it was a station on that road for the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line between San Diego and Vallecito via San Pasqual, Santa Ysabel Asistencia, Warner's, and Rancho Valle de San Felipe.[3] It operated as a ranch until 1962, when real estate developer Irvin Kahn acquired the 14,000 acre parcel with the intent of building a 150,000 resident planned community.[4]


According to the 2010 Census, 51,536 people resided in ZIP code 92129, a majority of whom were between 18 and 65 years old.[5]


Rancho Peñasquitos is a car-dependent[6] area according to WalkScore.com. Black Mountain Road is the main North-South artery, and Carmel Mountain Road/Rancho Peñasquitos Boulevard is the main East-West artery. State Route 56 traverses east-west through the central portion of the community. Interstate 15 forms an eastern boundary of Rancho Peñasquitos, with Carmel Mountain Ranch lying on the far side.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System operates one bus through the area, #20, with a stop on Carmel Mountain Road.

Community events[edit]

  • Mt Carmel Tournament of Bands is an annual high school marching band parade and field show competition, fully volunteer-run by the Mt Carmel Music Foundation. It has been held in late October every year since 1976, and is the most widely attended parade and field competition in San Diego with over 30 bands from San Diego county and the Los Angeles metropolitan area in attendance.[7]
  • The first weekend in May is when PQ Residents and community organizations partner to celebrate everything PQ with a 5K Fun Run, Street Fair, and Parade (as of 2015). a) The annual 5k Fun Run (since 2006) is a free event sponsored by the Del Mar Stake House for the Church of Latter Day Saints in Carmel Valley for PQ residents and neighbors. The event begins the Saturday before the Fiesta de los Peñasquitos at the Church of Latter Day Saints on Black Mountain Rd and ends at the Carmel Valley Stake House with free breakfast for the participants. b) The annual Fiesta de los Peñasquitos began in May of 1995 as a local community street fair. It is typically held on the first Sunday in May. In 2015, the Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council held it Inaugural Parade which starts from Mt.Carmel High School and ends at Sundance Elementary School. The event is managed by Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council but is possible in large part because of the City of San Diego Arts & Culture Grant. http://www.rpcouncil.com/ The http://www.92129magazine.com/ is one of the many local sponsors and covers the Fiesta de los Peñasquitos each year.
  • In Honor of the Fourth of July, the Rancho Penasquitos Recreation Council sponsors a fireworks show at Westview High School, and is usually is held on July 3rd.[8]
  • Christmas Card Lane.[9]
  • BLAST Annual Rummage Sale is held in February each year at New Hope Church 10330 Carmel Mountain Road in Rancho Penasquitos.
  • BLAST Annual Golf Tournament benefits the BLAST extended day program at Los Penasquitos Elementary and is held in May each year at various Rancho Penasquitos area golf courses.

Emergency services[edit]

Fire service[edit]

SDFD Fire Station 40

Fire protection and emergency medical services are provided by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department fire station #40 at 13393 Salmon River Road in the area of Rancho Peñasquitos. This station is in the 7th Battalion.

Police service[edit]

The San Diego Police Department operates from a station on 13396 Salmon River Road, serving the neighborhood.


A bicyclist enjoys Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve near the waterfall.
Waterfall in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.


Rancho Peñasquitos is in the Poway Unified School District.

High schools[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]


  • St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • The New Hope Church of Penasquitos

Notable people[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Schad, Jerry (September 2, 2004). "Climb Black Mountain in Rancho Penasquitos for an inclusive view of San Diego's ancient marine terraces". San Diego Reader. 
  2. ^ http://www.sdncc.com/communities/rancho-penasquitos
  3. ^ San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line Stations and Mileage between them, derived from the newspaper article by a traveler to the Gadsden Purchase printed in the Sacramento Daily Union, 11 January 1858, p.4, A TRIP TO THE GADSDEN PURCHASE
  4. ^ "Realty Roundup: Sales Course Scheduled". San Diego Union. March 25, 1962. 
  5. ^ American FactFinder
  6. ^ https://www.walkscore.com/CA/San_Diego/Rancho_Penasquitos
  7. ^ "Mt Carmel Tournament of Bands http://www.mchsbandtournament.com/".  External link in |title= (help);
  8. ^ "Fireworks Display - Rancho Penasquitos". City of San Diego - Office of Special Events. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Must See Christmas Lights in San Diego". Hidden San Diego. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ PQ Skate Park
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Mt. Carmel High School
  13. ^ Westview High School
  14. ^ Black Mountain Middle School
  15. ^ Mesa Verde Middle School
  16. ^ Adobe Bluffs Elementary School
  17. ^ Canyon View Elementary School
  18. ^ Deer Canyon Elementary School
  19. ^ Los Peñasquitos Elementary School
  20. ^ Park Village Elementary School
  21. ^ Rolling Hills Elementary School
  22. ^ Sundance Elementary School
  23. ^ Sunset Hills Elementary School