Rancho Peñasquitos is a car-dependent 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.”
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 Mexican land grant, 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. 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. 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.
Community events in Rancho Peñasquitos are Fiesta de los Peñasquitos is a community oriented street fair held on the first Sunday in May. It is organized by the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council. In Honor of the Fourth of July, the Rancho Penasquitos Recreation Council sponsors a fireworks show at Westview High School (which until recently was held at Mt. Carmel High School) (This show usually is held on July 3). Christmas Card Lane (starting at Oviedo Street – off Black Mtn. Rd) from Dec 10 until Dec 31. 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.
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