Santa Ysabel Preserve West Trail

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Santa Ysabel Preserve

Santa Ysabel Preserve West Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Santa Ysabel, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,174 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

walking

running

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
3 days ago

Beautiful trail, just under six miles and moderate difficulty only because of the the rolling hills (aka incline) of the preserve. Lots of oak trees along with plenty of lizards, squirrels and cows. We started before 9 a.m. not heavily trafficked; by the time we were done three hours later there was a lot of hikers just starting as we were finishing. Highly recommend starting even earlier than 9am, especially in the summer months.

5 days ago

loved the hike beautiful scenery lots of places to rest and have a picnic. picnic tables all around the trail a beautiful creek safe for kids

hiking
no shade
7 days ago

Very nice hike. Saw few cows under the tree staring at me. The trail had NO shade therefore it’s hot so start early to avoid the heat.

Beautiful and fun and many wild animals to see.

bugs
17 days ago

Great Hike! dogs on leashes are allowed. you mainly do the truck trail, but the views are awesome. you also have a likelihood of running into cows, and seeing other wildlife. there is some decent hills on this hike, so there is some challenge in a good workout from it. The view of the creek halfway through the hike is a welcome sight and makes for a nice place for a brief respite.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
19 days ago

hiking
no shade
19 days ago

Nice trail. Little shade so start early. Creek is wide and you will get wet crossing.

hiking
no shade
20 days ago

Start early as there’s no shade, and it warmed up quickly! The hillsides are green still, and there’s water in the creek after this year’s rains.

hiking
22 days ago

This trail is open with the parking area accessible to hikers. They just require you to distance your parked cars as an initiative to support social distancing and public safety during this pandemic. The gates say they close at 5pm. Porta potty’s available in the lot - tip: bring your own sanitizer and toilet paper. As far as the trail goes, we went on a particularly beautiful day with some wind to help keep us cool. There is almost no shade though. Also, there is a little stream available for pets to cool off if you choose to bring the furbaby - id say it’s maybe halfway during the trail. Side note: Be careful of foxtail and other burrowing plant particles that fly into your pets fur. Otherwise, you can’t beat the views of the large open fields, lush green grass, sun, etc. Have fun! Stay safe. Stay hydrated

hiking
25 days ago

Trail is open. Today-Mothers Day. The ranger is monitoring parking so folks don’t park too close to each other. Parking lot open 8 to 5 pm so park on 78 if you plan to return after 5 pm. Creek is full. Hard to cross without getting feet wet.

hiking
no shade
27 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic trail. Lots of wildlife and great landscape. Unfortunately the trail is now closed due to Covid-19.

A lot of people on this trial. So aware and keep your distance. Other then that was a good little hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous hike and nice variation in elevation. Love the creek but we couldn’t make it over today as it was heavily flowing. Looking forward to next time.

To cross stream head up stream and there will be a log you can use to hop over

hiking
2 months ago

I love this trail. Good little workout with cows everywhere and the Creek is beautiful. My kids love this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with nice shade and picnic tables throughout. There are some great incline parts and the rolling hills make a beautiful backdrop. Saw tons of wildlife and cows! Highly recommend especially if you have a dog!

Excellent day for this up and down trail.

This is a beautiful and well-maintained trail. Rolling hills provide a good workout (but not too tough) and gorgeous views at the top of each hill. Love the picnic tables along the way! Check out the map at the beginning of the trail to see the locations of the tables.

Definitely do not consider this a moderate hike. Not hard but a bit difficult. Rolling, steep hills. Stream crossing.

Not a stroll in the park, but loved the hills and cows! Parking does not open until 8:00 am, but If you plan on hiking earlier you can park right outside the gates.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Hilly but beautiful views. A creek and cows. Recommend.

hiking
4 months ago

Very enjoyable. Trail is wide and easy to follow. Scenery is gorgeous. Not too populated; I saw around 10 people with a few dogs today. The creek was easy to cross. On the return hike there was a cow grazing right next to the trail.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This was a great moderate hike. As we drove by Mt Woodsen and counted over 60 cars at the backside trailhead, it was refreshing to see only 6 cars at this trailhead. A few hikers had their dogs off-leash but most obeyed the rules. The weather was sunny (67°) and a little windy (which was good for it kept us cool after our steep up hill climbs). It had rained the day before so I was a little worried about a slick trail and a stream that would be difficult to cross. Not so. The wide, well-marked trail, was not slick on the steep parts and the stream had enough rocks and wood to hop across. This was a C2C 5-hike challenge hike for us. However, I must admit, I think I like the Santa Ysabel East Preserve more, less up and downs, meaning not as much of a workout. The cows added a nice touch. Brand new picnic tables along the trail. Would be a fun hike in the spring for I am sure the meadows would be full of color. I would have given 5 stars if it wasn't for the 2 very steep areas that I had to do slowly.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

We were here on 12/28. Some very muddy spots from recent rains, making some of the uphills/downhills very slick. Creek was flowing but passable. Gorgeous and peaceful, with rolling hills that get your heart rate going on the incline.

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