Tried this hike out earlier today with my husband and 18 year old daughter and it was a 10/10. Pleasantly strenuous, lots of variation in elevation, soul-calming quiet, gorgeous scenery...and cows.

Beautiful trail and very peaceful. You will work your thighs and gluts, but it is worth it

Gorgeous trail - lots of cows and peaceful during a weekday day.

Dec 22nd. It was cold, very windy around 3:45pm, lots of cows, lots of poop... nonetheless a beautiful experience. If you find yourself walking towards a metal corral with a much larger than average amount of cow poop around you, stay towards the right of the coral. The trail is a touch washed out around here.

Great hike -steep at times and beautiful always

Love this trail. It will catch you off guard with its steep hills and roaming cattle. But the hike is gorgeous all the way

on Black Canyon Road to Pamo Road

off road driving
3 months ago

Very fun and easy drive for the novice with a lot of great scenery. The traffic is light and it’s more like an unpaved back country road instead of an off road trail. It’s a great way to head from Ramona to Julian in a 4x4

actually hiked from Santa Isabel Preserve East. Nice trail up to the plateau where the trail comes down from Farmer Rd. near Julian. logged 8.1 miles with 1800 feet elevation gain.

Fun, short little jaunt. Some definite ups & downs, but tons of shady spots to rest and very amiable company

4 months ago

Very steep at first but worth the hike once it flattens out. Walked 5.6 miles doing the loop. Great way to burn some of the pie calories off.

Don't go on a hot day, the first time I went was 95. The second time I went was 52. The hike back was grueling but well worth it.

This is a gorgeous trail! High grassy hills dotted with huge shady oaks. A lovely stream to cool your feet with nice shady areas to take a break.
No switchbacks here! Just straight ups and downs with a few steep climbs like a big roller coaster.
We didn't spot any buffalo just a lot of cows.
We had lunch after our hike right down the hill in Santa Isabell which made for a very nice day.

Did this hike in 4/2017 and really enjoyed it. Instead of just doing the loop, we took the trail a couple of miles back towards the Santa Ysabel East Preserve. Our hike ended up being around 8 miles but there's the potential to stretch it out to nearly 14 miles if you go all the way to the Santa Ysabel East Preserve trailhead and back.

Pretty tough hike, all uphill for 3 miles. Beautiful surroundings lots of trees, Meadows and creeks. Hiked with Verna and the Sierra Club.

9 months ago

Hiked this on a warm Saturday morning in April. We were the only ones on the trail. Due to all the rain we had this winter, the grass was real green and still some pretty wild flowers blooming. The first mile up the hill was fairly steep which I enjoyed. After a mile into the trail, it flattens out and you just do a couple mile loop. Views of the pastures but not a lot of peaks. Tons of mosquitos!! There was still a little water flowing the creek. Peaceful hike but not the spectacular views as others. Not sure it was worth the hour drive for an average easy hike. But I never regret trying a new hike. The best part of the hike was seeing all the cows cross the trail.

10 months ago

Very steep hiking up a peak on a cattle ranchers dirt road so it's very wide. It's worth it once you reach the top and there was a nice pond up there. Beware of snakes sunbathing in the road, we saw a gardener and rattle snake. Stop by Dudley's bakery for their fresh bread and Julian Pie company down the road after.

10 months ago

Beautify day. Good temperature. Hung out by the pond for a little bit before completing the loop. No cows this time around. A few wild turkey later on.

Make sure you are ready for a cardio filled adventure. The scenic view surrounding the trail are breathtaking. Very active wildlife, including hawks, squirrels, lizards, deer, and crows. The cattle were comfortably grazing around the creek and in the trail path. I even stumbled upon a Gopher Snake just sunning itself in the trail path as well. There are several picnic benches to stop off at along the way if you need a rest. I absolutely loved this trail.

I'm ready to get down on one knee and propose to this hike....I loved it!!!
Saw plenty of wildlife, including: squirrels, frogs, ladybugs, golden eagles and we heard birds with a song very similar to R2-D2.
There are a couple of very, very steep spots on the way back, especially the hills closest to the creek. Some wonderful soul propped up a board to allow creek-crossing without having to remove your shoes. Because of the extra cardio, we had the confidence to order that slice of pie at the nearby cafe :-).

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