Hiked this trail for the first time today and thoroughly enjoyed it. The scenery and views are beautiful. Enjoyed the oak trees too. A board had been placed across the creek so that it's passable. The trail provides a good workout as it is quite steep at a few points as it meanders through rolling hills. Probably not a hike I would do in Summer except early in the morning as much of the trail is not shaded but will definitely be back again.
Glenn G. on Santa Ysabel Preserve West Trail
Nice hike. Beautiful scenery, some steep sections of trail. Trail is more of a fire-road, wide and open. Was in a little rough condition from all the rain, but not bad. Creek is flowing heavily and bridge is washed out. Scenery was great, we were even able to see the ocean in one spot.
Defiantly some steep rolling hills. Little creek was flowing after all our rain, which was nice to see. Ran into some guys filling in some holes getting ready for the rains to come. Great to see our trails being taken care of. Thanks to all those who do take care of the trails.
FYI The above description that mentions 20 miles of biking refers to Santa Ysabel OSP East. I think bikes aren't allowed on the west side. This is a great hike during the cooler months. We enjoy it in a light rain when it's less busy.
Great hike! Steep, good for the early morning or evening, well maintained, beautiful, lots of solitude. I appreciate all the past comments because my hiking partner (who leads the way) canceled and I wanted to do it solo It took me about 2 1/2 hours, but I didn't stop much.
This hike was wonderful. Pictures can't fully capture the beauty of those golden Santa Ysabel hills. It took me about 3 hours with some short stops. I started late in the day at around four to avoid the heat. I wouldn't do this hike on a hot day between the hours of 10-4. There were a few hills that got my heart really racing, but for the most part the trail wasn't too strenuous. It was maintained pretty well. I only saw one piece of trash; a Gatorade bottle. There were three picnic tables located at different points throughout the trail.
What I loved most about this trail was the wildlife, peace, and solitude. As soon as I got about a mile in it felt like I was far from any civilization because I couldn't hear cars passing by on the freeway. There were no other hikers on the trail when I was there. I saw deer, wild turkey, lots of cows, a few hawks and squirrels.
When I came in at 7:40 the ranger was waiting for me so that he could lock the gate because the preserve closes at sun down.
Super fun day. Great trail... lots of beautiful oaks, and wow, buckwheat blooming everywhere. Stands of white sage - absolutely gorgeous! Never seen so much in one place. Other wildflowers: Yarrow, California fuchsia, penstemon, monkey flower. Dog friendly. Amazing views. Will do again when it's not so hot! :)