GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

A visit to the Sweetwater Reservoir

Posted by George J Janczyn on July 30, 2010

Illustration courtesy of Sweetwater Authority

Yesterday I visited the Sweetwater Reservoir and dam located near Bonita and Spring Valley in southern San Diego County. This is one of two large reservoir/dam combos (Loveland is the other) on the Sweetwater River which starts out near Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. This illustration of the watershed should give you a good idea of the river’s course (many thanks to the Sweetwater Authority for permission to copy it from their website).

Unfortunately a recent bird die-off occurred around the reservoir causing the closure of fishing access to the reservoir and a halt to treating water from the reservoir until more is known about the cause. Here’s the Sweetwater Authority’s press release with further information about that.

I have photos of the reservoir and dam to share. I got some shots from the southwest side of the reservoir by hiking up a hill on the Sweetwater River Trail starting at the gated north end of Conduit Road. The trail features a specially padded horse bridge (the Mary Augustine Bridge) to cross the California 125 freeway and then continues upwards for about 3/4 mile farther where it branches in several directions. A nice touch is an adjacent concrete step to facilitate remounting your horse after walking it across the bridge.

Exploring those trail offshoots I found some good views overlooking the reservoir with the mountains to the east. You can see San Miguel Mountain in several pictures; prominently in the dam photos. The pictures of the dam were taken near Quarry Road. Picture no. 10 has just part of the dam visible on the left, with the Robert A. Perdue Water Treatment Plant next to it on the opposite shore. I also went to the northeastern end of the reservoir near Jamacha Road and found a few places with a view. Click images for enlargements.


One Response to “A visit to the Sweetwater Reservoir”

  1. Wow! It’s beautiful out there. Love the open space!

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