Situated fourteen miles southeast of the City of Escondido, this 50-acre park is located on land once belonging to the San Pasqual Indian Pueblo. Beginning with the resettlement of Native Americans from the San Diego Mission, that pueblo lasted from 1835 until 1878 when the land was deeded to a settler. A large portion of the park, including several monuments, commemorates the Battle of San Pasqual in 1846, when Californio forces clashed with U.S. federal troops, the latter retreating in defeat. In 1912 the Native Sons of the Golden West fraternity donated the site to the State of California for use as a park, which was designated a California Historical Landmark in 1954.
Located on the lower slopes of a foothill, the site overlooks the San Pasqual Valley where the battle occurred. Starting between the visitor center and a small, open air theater, a footpath splits into the 1.5-mile long Battlefield Monument Trail and a smaller switchback nature trail that climbs past a ramada before rejoining the longer trail. Beginning near the Beale-Carson Monument, the Battlefield Monument Trail winds west along a ridge, ascending some 200 feet before quickly descending to a one-acre, stone enclosure nested within desert scrubland of sage brush and wild buckwheat. Surrounded by Engelmann oaks, at the center of the space is the San Pasqual Battlefield Monument, erected in 1925. Adjacent to the San Diego Archaeological Center, a one-story research facility and museum located on the eastern edge of the site, a large willow shades a small, Native American burial ground that dates to the nineteenth century.