Los Santos and Trans Preserve Loop

MODERATE 169 reviews

Los Santos and Trans Preserve Loop is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Murrieta, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

4.6 miles
488 feet

kid friendly


mountain biking

road biking

trail running


bird watching



no dogs

Daily entrance fee: $4, ages 13+, $3, ages 2-12. Oak grasslands, spring wildflowers, historic adobe ranch house, vernal pools can be seen on this trail. This loop hike takes in much of the west end of the preserve. From the trailhead, take the left hand trail 1/4 mile, turn right on the Trans-Preserve trail. Stick with this trail until you reach the Vernal Pools trail. Turn left to the pools, the most crowded area on the preserve. Continue off the mesa about 1 mile to the historic ranch adobe, where you can picnic and relax under a huge Live Oak tree. From the adobe, take the Punta Mesa trail towards Monument Hill. Watch for the left branching trail just before the main trail; a dirt road, angles right. Take the left fork down off the hill to another dirt road and a stream crossing. When you arrive at a gate, look for the start of the Trans-Preserve trail, which you follow until you see your original path coming in from the right. Turn right to the trailhead.

no shade
16 days ago

16 days ago

Beautiful place, beautiful day.

26 days ago

So beautiful! Everything was green, and the flowers were all blooming! So glad I went!

5 months ago

Probably one of the more rugged areas of the plateau but not crowded. Nobody at the adobes on mid morning Tuesday. Some shaded areas along the ridge by the pools. All the pools were dry in late October. Will return after some rains.

6 months ago

After the rains and it greens up such a great place to hike and for us close to home

trail running
10 months ago

First let me start by saying I'm a big boy. I just recently found the attractiveness of hiking. I started today at 730 on the trail thinking I was going to do like MAYBE 5 miles. but the scenery inticed me. The ease of these trails, and we'll marked, we'll maintained. And if need be the benches placed all over for various reasons basically for observation and reflection. I even started to jog on the trail... don't laugh but it's been awhile. Hardly saw anyone on these tasks which made it easy not to be embarrassed by my efforts. 3 1/2 hrs later I hiked 10.5 MILES... so many things to keep you stimulated... adobe houses, grassy plains, and seasonal pools. The Adobe loop has many trees, water, bridges, and was worth that extra trek. Again, super easy and totally worth it... you'll end up adding additional trails to this hike... I GUARANTEE IT

11 months ago

Great place to hike this trail and many others offer a look at old California

11 months ago

Went on a Saturday, started around 8:30am and finished just before 11am. Great trail, some really beautiful scenery. Trails are well kept and only a couple rocky spots, mostly on the Los Santos loop. For a Saturday there wasn't very many people. Not counting the Vernal Pool area (which was completely dried up) I saw only about 6 or 7 people the whole time on the trail. Even though it is rated moderate, it's a great beginners trail.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

who really love of mother nature, this is the quite perfect and secure.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hiked on 3/7, great route. Only encountered a couple other people, most of the route it feels like you've got the place to yourself. I suggest extending (only .2 mi!) to the vernal pools boardwalk. Opposed to what's said in one of the previous reviews, according to all the signage dogs are NOT allowed on this trail or on this side of the Reserve at all-- although you wouldn't know it due to the poo unfortunately left behind. Dogs are however allowed right across the street on the sylvan-meadows side. Not a whole lot of elevation gain overall, but there are some steeper/rocky spots, so not stroller friendly. Interesting seeing areas of charred grasses-- maybe controlled burns? Trail goes through grassy areas to rocky/wooded areas, a mix of both which is cool. Very well marked, super appreciated compared to other local trails. Love the versatility of the trails on the Plateau, allowing for adjusting your route to make shorter/longer as you wish. Maps available at parking lots. Keep in mind there is a day fee.

trail running
Sunday, March 11, 2018

This trail was awesome! It definitely had it’s tough moments but it rewards you with its beautiful views and it’s open meadows. Don’t pass up on this trail.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

The beginning was boring but towards the middle area was awesome with lots of trees and rock's. didn't like the fact that we had to pay to hike

Monday, January 22, 2018

This is a beautiful hike with well maintained trails. A lot of interesting sights. No cell service though so don’t rely on your phone for a guide (our mistake).

Monday, January 01, 2018

Santa Rosa is my favorite local hiking destination

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Dogs are actually allowed on this loop. Very nice trail, only the down side is there are too many dog poop on the trail.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Good hike, gradual climbs nothing severe, some rocky areas but not bad, good scenery. The only slight negative is so many back and forth winding trails but overall enjoyable hike.

Friday, May 12, 2017

This was a perfect hike. Rolling hills and wildflowers. You can add less than a half mile to this route and see the vernal pool as well.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Nice easy hike if you don't have a lot of time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Great trail, moderate, great for running and hiking. Some parts are a little rocky and uneven but easy enough get through. With that said I would suggest for those hiking to wear pants and boots as there are plenty of parts with big rocks and decent amount of overgrowth. Nevertheless this is a great trail, plenty of beautiful sights and wildlife. Lightly traveled, you will encounter others out here but only every so often, no awkward moments with strangers following closely behind you.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

the scenery, beautiful. outside in nature.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

It was ok. Not my type of hike. First time there is don't think I'll be going back.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Best hike in Murrieta

I live 15 minutes away from this hike. I hike it and run it regularly. The best part of the plateau is that there are many hikes short and long easy and moderately difficult making it very accessible for hikes of all ages and experience it. If you can make it to the adobes its worth it.
Bring water and sun block.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

nice easy trail. if you hike the complete outside loop, its about 12 miles.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

a great trail for the kids ages 5-11 many shaded areas to stop for water or snacks. went to the pools. dried up. but still a fun adventure. no wildlife this time.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Great trail.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

My local favorite and steady "go to." I can get in a nice work out if I maintain a steady pace and seek out some inclines.
The scenery is beautiful and when I go it's not crowded. I love how quiet it is out there. It's therapy for me.
Love the old oaks, granite boulders, and tall yellow (dead) grass. The right combination of full sun and cool shade give this hike a nice perk.
Encountered a rattlesnake here once. I hate rattlesnakes.
There is a $3.00 day use fee on the honor system. The trails are well marked and maintained. The interactive center is nice for learning and cooling off. It gets real hot out on the trails, so plenty of water and sunscreen.
Only one part of the park is dog friendly so check first before venturing out. Bring your camera to capture some eye candy.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Great for kids and dogs!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Great trails! Took my Girl Scouts to see vernal pools and then hiked to the adobe. Visitor's center had maps and even gave us an informational tour. Beautiful views of the area.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Beautiful and clean. Moderate to easy and sunny. The rolling hills simply beautiful and relaxing.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Nice for our first time out, we didn't know what to expect..

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