Rancho Peñasquitos is a 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.”
Rancho Peñasquitos is a car-dependent area according to WalkScore.com. Black Mountain Road is the main North-South artery, and Carmel Mountain Road/Rancho Peñasquitos Boulevard is the main East-West artery. State Route 56 traverses east-west through the central portion of the community. Interstate 15 forms an eastern boundary of Rancho Peñasquitos, with Carmel Mountain Ranch lying on the far side.
Mt. Carmel Tournament of Bands is an annual high school marching band parade and field show competition, fully volunteer-run by the Mt Carmel Music Foundation. It has been held in late October every year since 1976, and is the most widely attended parade and field competition in San Diego with over 30 bands from San Diego county and the Los Angeles metropolitan area in attendance. The first weekend in May is when PQ Residents and community organizations partner to celebrate everything PQ with a 5K Fun Run, Street Fair, and Parade (as of 2015). In Honor of the Fourth of July, the Rancho Peñasquitos Recreation Council sponsors a fireworks show at Westview High School, and is usually is held on July 3rd.
Rancho Peñasquitos is in the Poway Unified School District.