Wilderness Gardens Preserve

EASY 42 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Wilderness Gardens Preserve is a 3 mile loop trail located near Pala, California that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from September until July.

3.0 miles
219 feet

kid friendly




no dogs

25 days ago

Hidden gem in San Diego North county. Really quiet and peaceful. Not very crowded even on a warm winter day. We saw a coyote near the park ranger station which was really cool.

1 month ago

Beautiful views of the mountains surrounding the trail, well maintained. Perfect for families with little children.

1 month ago

Nice! easy hike

2 months ago

It was a beautiful nature walk. My four year old really enjoyed it.

9 months ago

Great day.. perfect weather! Saw my first rattle snake.. he was up close and personal lol.. blocked my path for a good 3 minutes .. then slid off and shook his rattle at me, as I ran by!

10 months ago

Nice quick little hike

11 months ago

Beautiful surroundings, easy hike. Hiked with Pete, Tyler and Natti.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

very relaxing and meditative

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Not impressed, it was easy, not much coverage. The one overlook was overlooking the highway. The pond was nice though.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Despite the heat of a particularly hot weekend, this was a very enjoyable hike. The trails are easy, some options for elevation gain and vistas. There is a small museum and ranger station partway along the main trail, and the pond affords some handy shade and lots of birds. Bring plenty of water - this hike can get hot.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Easy and relaxing! Very mellow hike through the preserve with gorgeous views if you go on trail that heads up toward the ridge. Can be very warm even at 9am, so bring plenty of water.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Looks like a nice spot, however for whatever reason they are closed for the month of August. Posted a photo of hours and days they are open, so everyone will know.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nice little family spot and picnic areas. Took the family in January and as always beautiful weather. There are multiple routes to choose from but this is not a strenuous hike by any means. There are Park Rangers onsite and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have about there area and the historic Mill that's onsite. There are outhouses throughout the preserve and picnic benches. You do have to pay for parking but it is well worth it and its only $3.00. They have maps and other information in regards to the preserve. Have fun and enjoy the day hike in this hidden gem!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Had a great hike here today! Definitely moderate or easy. But they changed their rules and dogs are allowed on leashes. Get place to take the dogs and very empty.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cost: $3.00 for parking

Self Pay at parking lot. Place money in the envelopes provided at the information kiosk area.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Monday

A few things to know before you start:

No pets and bicycles are allowed.
Bring drinking water.
Picnic area & porta potty at the parking area.
Trails: 5 trails at the Wilderness Garden Preserve

The Alice Fries Trail- half-mile loop trail
The Main Trail- easy hike with restrooms and park benches found along the trail to enjoy nature
The Upper Meadow Trail- most scenic trail/moderate to difficult level
The Pond Loop- view waterfowl and migratory birds
The Camellia Trail- short loop trail

Trail head: walk on the dirt road that says "Authorized Vehicles only" to find The Main Trail. We walked along the main trail then connected with the Upper Meadow Trail this trail has great views but a moderate to difficult walk. Next, we walked down to the Pond Loop Trail. The pond had several waterfowl in it. Lastly, we connected back to The Main Trail. The trails are well maintained with great signs to follow.

Good Hiking! Good Birding!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A serene and scenic trail that shouldn't be missed by Southern California residents

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Very peaceful and easy hike

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This was a easy and mostly flat hike with several loops connecting in the center at a ranger station & historic Mill. We took the whole family. great for kids, but no dogs. There was limited cover although very shady in the middle around a large pond. ($3 parking fee)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Hidden little gem!!!! Nice open trails, great views, and peaceful. If your looking to go on a nice moderate hike that is close and fun this is a must.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It is a very nice trail. Well kept with some very scenic views. Has a pond and some nice side trails w some elevation and park benches to enjoy the view on when you reach the top. Brought the whole family. 3-6y/o. Every one was pleased.

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