Upper Santa Ysabel Creek Trail is a 7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Julian, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible from October until June.
This hike starts off near a creek and continues through a grassy meadow with lots of cows enjoy the local fare. The hike is mostly flat with a steep incline to the top which has great views of the surrounding area.
One of the best hikes I've been on in SD county. Beautiful scenery. Nice mix of shade and wide open spaces, easy to follow trail (when you get to the water trough, just walk straight until the trail picks up again!), and perfectly placed picnic tables to rest and eat. I appreciated the length -- there was definitely just enough elevation to get the heart pumping (we did the loop clockwise which meant a steeper climb) but not too much, which is good considering the length. Tons of cows in and around the trail, and I even met a horse! Definitely want to watch your step. ;)
Trail is actually straightforward and easy. There is a small (well depending on your fitness) incline about 70% of the way to the Kanaka loop.
There are many cows on the trail Like some would be on the side of some steep cliffs and you'd be like wtf how did that dude get up there? He aint no goat! Anyways, this is a pretty awesome hike, one of the best in San Diego county in my opinion. I prefer this over volcan and the santa ysabel west. There is no option for a 4.5 star so I'll give it 5.
This hike is totally worth it for the cows. Watch where you step, though. Flat in the beginning, with a nice incline past the creek picnic area. Lots of shady areas and wide open prairie type views. The kind of hike where you can stop at a nice halfway point and decide if you want to keep going, or opt for a lighter day and head back while still feeling accomplished.
Beautiful hike, lots of wildlife, and of course cows. We went a little over 7.5 miles with a couple of detours, but the trail was not difficult at all. There are a couple of areas with an incline, but nothing too crazy. We went on a windy day, so a light coat was definitely needed. After the trail make sure to go stop and get some apple pie in Julian.
I love this hike because of the cows. It's a great open terrain as well with just enough of a climb. After you head up the first hill, the trail splits in two. Go left and get a couple steep climbs, which are well worth it for the views. Then , just when you think you're done and you can see your car off in the distance, the trail heads the opposite direction, back up a hill to the original split. Be sure you go right then straight to head back in the way you came. It was really windy and cold. I wish I would've brought a jacket. This is a good hike for both the experienced and semi-experienced hiker.
This was such a beautiful hike, my friend and I decided to take the longer rout rather than the loop and went a total of 8.5 miles. The open rolling hills were breath taking and we also got to see a lot of wild life. We saw some deer and coyotes, and of course cows. It was very windy though and at times strong enough to fling off by ball cap, so a light coat might be in order though we managed without. Great hike and not very strenuous.
This was such a beautiful exerience....starting from the drive into the preserve. One of the best things about this hike was the cows! There were moments when we'd round a bend, and they'd just be there! It's not too difficult a hike, but the scenery was amazing!