Wilderness Gardens Preserve
Wilderness Gardens Preserve, a 676-acre jewel of county parkland near Pala in north inland San Diego County, encompasses the grounds of an old ranch — the former retreat of Manchester Boddy, owner of a Los Angeles newspaper and developer of the renowned Descanso Gardens in Pasadena. As the years go by, the property looks less like a botanical showplace and more like the wilderness that its name suggests. Intermixed with live-oak woodland and sycamores lining the San Luis Rey River floodplain are surviving exotics such as eucalyptus, camellias, roses, holly, bottlebrush, pyracantha, and oleander.
You'll find the entrance to Wilderness Gardens on the south side of Highway 76, approximately ten miles east of Interstate 15. The park is currently open only on weekends, and there's a small charge for parking your vehicle there.