Visit Temecula Valley this summer and take a walk on the wild side while exploring the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological and Wildlife Reserve, located just minutes from downtown Temecula. From hiking and biking opportunities, equestrian options, historic buildings, picnic areas, and interpretive programs and trails, the 9000 acre reserve offers an idyllic, nature-themed getaway from the hustle and bustle of Southern California.
The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve offers a fascinating glimpse into the ecosystems of the area. Unique ecosystems, including Engelmann oak woodlands, riparian wetlands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, bunchgrass prairie, and vernal pools span the reserve’s 9000 acres. Animal life and diversity abounds with more than 200 species of native birds as well as 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.
Trails can be accessed on foot, bike, or horseback to explore the reserve. Popular day-hikes include trails to Riverside County’s two oldest standing structures, the Moreno and Machado Adobes, built in 1845 and 1846. Monument Hill, which features gentle rolling hills and stunning scenery, is a loop hike that is perfect for hikers of all abilities. Interpretive trail walks encourage a deeper understanding of the natural surroundings, while interpretive programs, guided hikes, and themed-exploration days make the reserve accessible to all. A variety of picnic locations accessing the stunning views and scenery are offered throughout the reserve. The Visitor Center, open Tuesdays-Sundays, is a fabulous starting point for maps, information, and helpful guides.
Other outdoor must-do activities in Temecula Valley this summer include horseback riding, fishing, boating, swimming, golfing, biking, and hot air ballooning over the gorgeous hills.
The Santa Rosa Plateau Reserve is open daily, sunrise to sunset. Daily walking fees to access the trailheads are just $4 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, visit http://www.rivcoparks.org/santa-rosa-plateau-ecological-reserve/.
About Visit Temecula Valley
With natural gifts of climate and geography Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is recognized for scenic vineyards, award-winning wines, and 40+ wineries. The popular, boutique destination includes the Temecula Valley A.V.A. (American Viticulture Area) as well as Historic Downtown Old Town Temecula, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Wine Country Golf Trail.
Visit Temecula Valley is the region’s official tourism marketing organization and an online resource for visitors at VisitTemeculaValley.com. Temecula Valley Visitors Center is located in Old Town Temecula (Third Street and Mercedes). For visitor information and assistance, call (888) 363-2852 or (951) 491-6085.
*Information is believed to be current as of April 2018.