Hiking on the Santa Rosa Plateau is nothing short of epic!


The following information comes from www.RivCoParks.org

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains in southwest Riverside County near the city of Murrieta, is a hidden gem that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and ecosystems of the area. Consisting of 9000 acres, the Reserve protects unique ecosystems such as Engelmann oak woodlands, riparian wetlands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, bunchgrass prairie, and vernal pools as well as more than 200 species of native birds and 49 endangered, threatened or rare animal and plant species, including mule deer, mountain lions, badgers, bobcats, western pond turtles, white-tailed kites and fairy shrimp. Of the two species of fairy shrimp that live in the seasonal vernal pools on the Reserve, one is found only here and nowhere else on Earth!

An especially popular day-hike destination at the Reserve is the Moreno and Machado Adobes, the two oldest standing structures in Riverside County, which date back to 1846 and once served as bunkhouses for cowboys. These interesting historical buildings, shaded by a 400-year-old tree and separated by a relaxing one-of-a-kind picnic area, provide a unique opportunity to experience Riverside County’s rich history.

A man walking in the woods

The Reserve offers a number of interpretive programs and trail walks. Horseback riding and mountain biking are popular activities in the Sylvan Meadows Multi-Use Area of the Plateau.

  • Visitors must stay on marked trails or roads at all times.
  • All elements on the Reserve are protected, including flowers and other plant material, animals, birds, insects, and rocks. Collecting or disturbing any element is strictly prohibited without a Scientific Collecting Permit issued by the Reserve Manager.
  • Smoking, fires, and camping are prohibited. Please carry all trash out with you, including food scraps.
  • Dogs and other pets, leashed or unleashed, are not permitted on the Reserve.
  • Hunting, shooting, trapping, and firearms are prohibited.
  • Visitor vehicles are prohibited on the Reserve except during specially scheduled events.
  • Obey all trail signs, particularly those marked “closed.”
  • Do not abandon or release any wild or domestic animals.
  • Horseback and bicycle riding is permitted only on designated multi-use trails.
  • These rules are enforceable under State of California Fish and Game Code section 1530 and Riverside County Ordinance 328. Please report any violations to the Reserve Ranger or the Reserve Manager.
discussing outside

Trails Information The Reserve trails are open daily from sunrise until sunset. Closures may occur due to weather or safety conditions. Multi-Use Area: (Sylvan Meadows Area) Dog on leash, equestrian riders, bicycling on Sylvan Meadows.

  • $4.00 13+years
  • $3.00 2-12 years
  • $1.00 dog on 6′ leash and pedestrian day use fee
  • $1.00 horse in addition to pedestrian day use fee
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