Situated in the northeastern part of San Diego, Rancho Penasquitos is literally translated as “little cliffs” because of the canyon open space preserve that surrounds the community. The terrain that provides a backdrop for Rancho Penasquitos offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. The most prominent feature of the spectacular area geography is the Black Mountain that rises 1,500 feet above the land below. Commonly referred to by the acronym “PQ,” Rancho Penasquitors hosts over 54,000 people and has become one of the most desirable places to live in San Diego County and the rest of Southern California.
The area’s history dates back to the times of the Native Americans. In fact, history can be traced as far as 7,000 years ago, validated by the presence of the remains of prehistoric culture. Rancho de los Penasquitos was actually the first Mexican land grant in San Diego County and was first established in 1823. Today, however, Rancho Pensaquitos plays a very active role in the Southern California community. Several major thoroughfares connect the area to the rest of the county. State Route 56 runs in the east-west direction while interstate I-15 passes Ranchos Penasquitors to the east and is the main north-south artery.
Several annual events are highly anticipated throughout the year and are intended to bring together the community to celebrate a variety of occasions. Fiesta de los Penasquitors is a street fair held on the first Sunday in May and features Mexican culture, dance, music, and entertainment appropriate for the whole family. A magnificent fireworks show graces the skies over the town on the Fourth of July and Christmas Card Lane is held on one of the area’s main streets between December 10th and 31st.
Westview High School is Rancho Penasquitos’ largest high school and is operated as part of the Poway Unified School District. The school uses a unique 4 by 4 class schedule for the school year, meaning that the school uses quarters instead of semesters or trimesters and each student takes four courses each quarter. This results in students completing several more courses each year. This set-up has resulted in some impressive test results, making the school one of the most successful in the area.