Santa Ysabel Preserve West Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews

Santa Ysabel Preserve West Trail is a 5.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Santa Ysabel, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and horses. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1253 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

walking

horseback riding

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The Santa Ysabel Preserve-West is located between Santa Yasbel and Ramona about 40 miles northeast of San Diego. Portions of the trail are steep. Numerous oak trees populate the hills with several picnic tables on the trail. If the entire preserve is open hikes can be extended to 8.5 miles The 5,312 acre Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve, located in the extremely scenic mountains between Santa Yasbel and Julian about 40 miles northeast of San Diego. While fire roads exclusively make up the designated trail system here, you will most likely not mind at all as the beauty of the place makes up for the lack of singletrack options. The rolling open grasslands and oak groves remind me a great deal of Northern California. You can get in just under 20 miles of bike or horseback riding if you do all of the loops and out and back sections.

hiking
6 days ago

walking
13 days 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.

24 days ago

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.

28 days ago

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 :-).

28 days ago

walking
1 month ago

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

6 months ago

This trail is a lot like life. Lots of ups and downs.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike, some pretty steep hills at times. Definitely a hike for cooler weather.

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

8 months ago

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.

hiking
8 months ago

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.