Despite the heat of a particularly hot weekend, this was a very enjoyable hike. The trails are easy, some options for elevation gain and vistas. There is a small museum and ranger station partway along the main trail, and the pond affords some handy shade and lots of birds. Bring plenty of water - this hike can get hot.
Tyler G. on Gomez Trail [PRIVATE PROPERTY]
Trail crosses the Indian reservation and is closed. The residents who live at the trailhead call tribal police when they see hikers. The police will pointedly ask if you saw the "No Trespassing" sign, then detail their dislike for trespassers. For everyone's sake, consider this trail closed. It's not really all that great anyway.
Nice little family spot and picnic areas. Took the family in January and as always beautiful weather. There are multiple routes to choose from but this is not a strenuous hike by any means. There are Park Rangers onsite and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have about there area and the historic Mill that's onsite. There are outhouses throughout the preserve and picnic benches. You do have to pay for parking but it is well worth it and its only $3.00. They have maps and other information in regards to the preserve. Have fun and enjoy the day hike in this hidden gem!
Cost: $3.00 for parking
Self Pay at parking lot. Place money in the envelopes provided at the information kiosk area.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Monday
A few things to know before you start:
No pets and bicycles are allowed.
Bring drinking water.
Picnic area & porta potty at the parking area.
Trails: 5 trails at the Wilderness Garden Preserve
The Alice Fries Trail- half-mile loop trail
The Main Trail- easy hike with restrooms and park benches found along the trail to enjoy nature
The Upper Meadow Trail- most scenic trail/moderate to difficult level
The Pond Loop- view waterfowl and migratory birds
The Camellia Trail- short loop trail
Trail head: walk on the dirt road that says "Authorized Vehicles only" to find The Main Trail. We walked along the main trail then connected with the Upper Meadow Trail this trail has great views but a moderate to difficult walk. Next, we walked down to the Pond Loop Trail. The pond had several waterfowl in it. Lastly, we connected back to The Main Trail. The trails are well maintained with great signs to follow.
Good Hiking! Good Birding!
This was a easy and mostly flat hike with several loops connecting in the center at a ranger station & historic Mill. We took the whole family. great for kids, but no dogs. There was limited cover although very shady in the middle around a large pond. ($3 parking fee)
Great family trail. Pleasently suprised. Located approx 5 miles east of the Pala casino. Small parking fee but worth the price. The trails follow the Santa Margarita river/creek. The park has a little bit of everything, great views, creek, local history and well maintained.