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North County Neighborhood Guide: Black Mountain Ranch

Del Sur Community

The Black Mountain Ranch area is an upscale North County community located in northeastern San Diego and served by the high-ranking Poway Unified School District. It is primarily made up of two housing developments — Del Sur and Santaluz — each of which offers luxury homes built with sustainability in mind, community amenities and activities, parks, walking trails and open space.

Access to freeways is sure to please commuters, and the short drive to the beach or downtown San Diego ensures that enjoying luxury suburban living does not have to mean sacrificing an active lifestyle filled with outdoor recreation, fine dining, and arts and culture.


Like most of the land in this area, the land that is now Black Mountain Ranch was once inhabited by indigenous people and later became part of the area’s ranchos when Mexico governed the land. The land changed hands several times after coming under control of the United States government and, at one point, some of the land that now makes up Black Mountain Ranch was owned by silent screen darlings Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford.

The Black Mountain Ranch Subarea Plan was approved by the San Diego City Council and San Diego voters in 1998, and the first homes in these developments were sold in 2003.



The community of Black Mountain Ranch is primarily made up of the Santaluz and Del Sur housing developments. The Del Sur housing development makes up the northern portion of the community and Santaluz makes up the southern half of the community. The Black Mountain Ranch Subarea Plan approved by the San Diego City Council and San Diego voters in 1998 limits the number of homes in this 5,100-acre community to 5,400 with 29% of the area dedicated to housing and 67% designated for parks and open space.

The Santaluz development offers custom lots with six possible home styles, including Adobe Ranch, California Ranch, Andalusia Farmhouse, Santa Barbara, Tuscany Farmhouse and Provence Farmhouse that can be up to 20,000 square feet in size. This neighborhood also offers custom homes scattered throughout the community (5,000 to 15,000 square feet) and several models, including Posadas (4,800 to 5,500 square feet), Davidson (3,800 to 4,800 square feet), Belsera (3,800 to 4,800 square feet), Hacienda Sur (3,200 to 3,800 square feet), Garden Homes (3,000 to 4,200 square feet), Spanish Bungalows (2,700 to 3,600 square feet), Sentinel (2,300 to 2,900 square feet) and Casitas (2,100 to 2,600 square feet).

This gated community has 24-hour security and many of the homes have mountain, valley or golf course views. At the time of this writing, most homes for sale in Santaluz have listing prices between about $1,200,000 and $3,300,000.

Del Sur Banner

Del Sur is the newer of these two communities and will ultimately be home to nine neighborhoods, most of which are now open or have model homes open. Here are the neighborhoods with the approximate square footage of the homes and the current prices:

Brookfield Sentinels (2,784 to 3,509 square feet) priced from $900,000 to the low $1,000,000s

Descanso (3,423 to 3,940 square feet) priced from $900,000s to the low $1,000,000s

Garretson (1,518 to 1,867 square feet) priced from the low $500,000s

Marston (3,929 to 4,613 square feet) priced from the low $1,000,000s

Prado (1,940 to 2,435 square feet) priced from the high $600,000s

Presidio (3,558 to 3,935 square feet) priced from the low $1,000,000s

Preston (2,947 to 3,471 square feet) priced from the high $800,000s

Stratford (2,537 to 3,049 square feet) priced from the low $800,000s

The Estates (4,396 to 6,901 square feet) priced from the mid $1,000,000s

The Ranch House in Del Sur

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

There are plans to build a town center in Black Mountain Ranch, which will further connect Del Sur and Santaluz and allow residents the greater convenience of having shops, eateries and services closer to home. Until this town center is constructed, residents will find the nearest shopping areas to be Torrey Highlands to the south, Carmel Mountain Ranch to the east and 4S Ranch to the north.

Del Sur residents live particularly close to 4S Ranch, but residents in both Del Sur and Santaluz enjoy the convenience of having the 4S Ranch Commons Town Center minutes away. In this large shopping center, locals can find most of their everyday essentials, including chiropractic, eye care and dental services, a tanning salon, nail salon, Fine Men’s Salon, CVS Pharmacy, Wells Fargo, Point Loma Credit Union, Bank of America, Chase, Ace Hardware, Ulta Beauty, Petco Unleashed, Bed Bath & Beyond and Cost Plus World Market. There are also two grocery stores: Ralphs and Jimbo’s…Naturally. Restaurant options include Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Brett’s BBQ, Daphne’s Greek Cafe, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Napizza, Miguel’s Cocina, Jamba Juice, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Baskin Robbins and Wendy’s.

There is also a post office, gas station, pet store, Starbucks, animal hospital and other services and shops at the nearby 4S Ranch Village Center, which is located at the junction of Camino del Norte and Dove Canyon Road. There are also additional eateries in this shopping center, including Sushi on the Rock, SUBWAY, Los Primos Mexican Food, Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt, Pitas & Burger.

In Carmel Mountain Ranch, locals and visitors will find tons of shopping and dining options, including the many offerings of Carmel Mountain Plaza, such as Nordstrom Rack, Petco, The Vitamin Shoppe, T.J. Maxx, Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, Ross Dress for Less and Sally Beauty Supply. Other shops and restaurants in Carmel Mountain Ranch’s main shopping area include Ralphs, Payless ShoeSource, Pier 1 Imports, Costco, Party City, BevMo, Islands and Game Stop.

Carmel Mountain Plaza is also home to the Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain 12 movie theater.

Santaluz Golf Course

Parks & Recreation

Del Sur is currently home to nine parks and will eventually have 13 parks within the community. Beltaire Park features a solar-heated swimming pool, bocce ball court, picnic area and play areas. Haaland Glen Park is home to a solar-heated swimming pool, playground, amphitheater and large area of grass. High Rose Park features a solar-heated swimming pool, a spa, a playground and an open lawn area. This park also is a good staging area for those setting off into the dedicated open space for a day of hiking. Kristen Glen Park is home to a stone and glass labyrinth, a large lawn, and a solar-heated lap pool and hot tub available for adult residents to enjoy.

Mel Driscoll Memorial Park has a solar-heated swimming pool, picnic areas, and a large, wooden play structure. Old Stonefield Park features a dog park, playground, solar-heated swimming pool, a wildflower meadow and a garden. Reagan Glen Park is home to a solar-heated swimming pool, a shaded seating area, an open lawn area and play structures. Spreckles Park offers lawn areas and a plaza, which is home to the community’s large sun dial. Wade Park features a wading pool, wet play area, recreation pool, playground and access to some of the community’s walking trails.

The Del Sur development is also home to The Ranch House, which is where the community comes together to enjoy annual Cinco de Mayo and Saint Patrick’s Day events. As an interesting side note, The Ranch House was the first Certified LEED Platinum building in San Diego.

Mel Driscoll Memorial Park

Santaluz, which is considered one of California’s premier golf communities, is built around the 300-acre Santaluz Golf Course. This signature course was designed by Rees Jones and is part of The Santaluz Club, which also offers a clubhouse, fine dining, a spa, and the 15,000-square-foot Hacienda Santaluz. The Hacienda is only available to club members who are Santaluz residents and features lighted tennis courts, competitive swim lanes, a resort swimming pool, an indoor basketball court, a fitness facility, locker rooms, a courtyard for outdoor activities, a poolside grill, the Fresh Roast coffee house and Camp Santaluz for the little ones.

Some of the community events in Santaluz include outdoor movie nights, summer concerts, the Summer Celebration and Fireworks Spectacular, the Spring Fling & Dash on the Grass, the Fall Harvest Festival and the Children’s Winter Holiday Celebration. Santaluz is also home to a dog park, and miles of walking, hiking and biking trails, as well as many community clubs, including The Bridge Club, The Dinner Club, Ladies Book Club, Ladies Lunch Bunch, Hiking Club, Toddler Play Groups, Indian Princesses, Mahjongg and Canasta, and Santaluz Babies.

After school activities and programs in this area include the sports and summer camps offered by Rancho YMCA, the clubs and sports offered at the Boys and Girls Club of 4S Ranch, afternoon enrichment activities provided by Oak Valley Middle School, and the sports, crafts and other activities offered to students enrolled in the Del Sur ESS.

Other nearby opportunities for outdoor recreation include Miner’s Loop Trail, Black Mountain Ranch Community Park, Black Mountain Open Space, Lake Hodges and the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.

Del Norte High School


Residents living in the Black Mountain Ranch community are served by the top-rated Poway Unified School District. Most public school students living in this area attend Del Sur Elementary or Willow Grove Elementary, Oak Valley Middel School, and Del Norte High School or Mt. Carmel High School.

The new Design39Campus (D39C) opened in August 2014 and currently offers preschool through sixth grade with plans to expand to offer schooling through eighth grade in the years to come.


Black Mountain Ranch is located south of the Santa Fe Valley, west of Rancho Penasquitos and 4S Ranch, north of Torrey Highlands and east of Fairbanks Ranch.

Del Sur Bridge

Additional Information

This upscale, family-friendly community attracts home buyers of all ages and provides luxury suburban living with an emphasis on outdoor living and maintaining open spaces. The central location allows residents to enjoy all that North County and downtown San Diego have to offer, while events hosted by neighborhood organizations help bring neighbors together to form a close-knit community.



Photo Credits: Santaluz Golf Course and Santaluz home courtesy of; Del Sur banner courtesy of Wikimedia/Dlbreaux; Del Sur Bridge courtesy of Wikimedia/Dlbreaux; Del Sur Sundial courtesy of Wikimedia/Dlbreaux; Mel Driscoll Memorial Park courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dlbreaux; The Ranch House in Del Sur courtesy of Wikimedia/Dlbreaux; Del Norte High School courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dlbreaux.

AJ Davis-Varela: AJ is a freelance writer and blogger at Articles by AJ specializing in travel, real estate, natural wellness and green living. She is a magazine columnist, a former San Diego newspaper columnist, has been published in a variety of print and online publications, and regularly contributes to several websites and blogs. You can connect with AJ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+