It has become a running tradition in my expanding hiking career to begin each new year by making my first trip of the year within the lower Peninsular Ranges, which usually fare being made in the Santa Ana Mountains. For the sixth consecutive year, this tradition has been fulfilled in the completion of a quite short, yet beautiful loop hike on the Santa Rosa Plateau; Sylvan Meadows.
Elevation Gain: 200'
Location: Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve
The Hike: The trip begins at the Sylvan Meadows Trailhead, located just across the Hidden Meadows Trailhead just off of Tenaja Road above Murrieta. The trip follow Sylvan Meadows Road as the main artery of the trip, and many variations, add-ons, and spur trails are available. My suggestion is the take the dirt road towards the cut off to the Shivela Trail, which runs 1.15 miles southward before ending at a small dirt lot. This small extension gives the traveler the opportunity to achieve far-reaching views across the plains of the plateau and up close and person with the vulnerable Englemann Oak. After rejoining the main path, follow it as it loops throughout the meadows area and eventually back to the parking lot.
Hiked 1/2/2018. Riverside County, CA
|Sylvan Meadows during drought|
|Far off Palomar Mountains|
|Englemann Oak Stands|