The City of San Diego, Parks and Recreation Department has Park Rangers in two divisions: Developed Regional Parks and Open Space Parks.  

Park Ranger duties are to:

  • Assist the public in the use of parks and park facilities 
  • Develop and conduct interpretive programs
  • Patrol parks, beaches and bays to enforce rules and regulations and to perform related work as needed.  

Regional parks rangers program

Balboa Park

The Park Rangers are committed to helping visitors have a wholesome, safe, and rewarding outdoor experience. They assist with public safety, raise awareness of conservation needs and methods, and carry out a proactive series of educational activities within the Park and throughout the community.

Park Rangers lead tours approximately one hour long and meet at 11 a.m. every Sunday at the Visitor Information Center in the Park's Plaza de Panama. Tour leaders discuss the historical and botanical treasures of Balboa Park.

Balboa Park Rangers can be reached by calling (619) 235-1122.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay Park Rangers are responsible for resource protection and management in Mission Bay Park, including Southern and Northern Wildlife Preserve's, Famosa Slough, and along the mouth of the San Diego River. Park Rangers are also very active in preparing and protecting the annual Least Tern nesting areas. 

Mission Bay Park Rangers can be reached by calling (858) 581-7602.

Presidio Park

Park Rangers lead an outdoor slow-paced walking tour on significant history of Presidio Park. The free tours take place every second Sunday of the month from 1p.m. to 2 p.m. The Park Ranger will meet interested participants near the front entrance to the Serra Museum. Please note that admission fees do apply to enter the museum and it is not included on the tour. 

Presidio Park Rangers can be reached by calling (619) 235-1158.

Shoreline Parks

Shoreline Park Rangers are responsible for resource protection, management and interpretation of the natural and cultural resources of San Diego’s more than 13 miles of coastline and parks. These areas include Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Ocean Beach, South Mission Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Palisades Park, Tourmaline Surfing Park, Calumet Park, Hermosa, Windansea, Coast Blvd Park, Children’s Pool, Scripps Park, Kellogg Park, and Torrey Pines City Park.

Rangers lead regular volunteer groups to help maintain trails, habitat restoration projects, and clean-ups along the coast. We welcome group and individual project inquiries. 

Shoreline Parks Rangers can be reached by calling (858) 581-9982.


Mission Trails Regional Park

Rangers are available for interpretive talks and tours on the rich resources of the park, including Old Mission Dam. In addition to hikes, there is a Visitor and Interpretive Center with a library full of reference information on plants and wildlife, as well as a state-of-the-art theater with showings of video and slide presentations all about the park. 

Mission Trails Regional Park Rangers can be reached at (619) 668-3275.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

This includes Los Peñasquitos Canyon, Lopez Canyon, Del Mar Mesa and Carmel Mountain Preserves. Park Rangers offer interpretive walks and host a variety of volunteer events. Tours of the historic Rancho Peñasquitos Adobe are also available. 

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Park Rangers can be reach by calling (858) 538-8066 or (858) 484-7504 for more information.

Tri-Canyon Open Space Parks

This covers Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Nature Center, Marian Bear Memorial Park, and Rose Canyon Open Space Park. In addition to tours and hikes, there is a Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Preserve with exhibits and reference materials, as well as talks offered by the ranger staff. 

Tri-Canyon Park Rangers can be reached by calling (858) 581-9961 and (858) 581-9944 for the Nature Center.

Canyons and Parkland Program

Numerous urban canyons can be found throughout the City, often not far from your own backyard. Rangers work with many community environmental groups, Friends of Canyons groups, Eagle Scouts, and volunteers to restore native habitat, remove non-native plants, maintain trails, and clean up trash in the creeks. 

Tri-Canyon Park Rangers can be reached by calling (619) 235-5262.