Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

From sunny chaparral to limpid stream, the Granite Loop Trail at Santa Rosa Plateau near Temecula covers it all.

This mini-tour of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve, the jewel of southwestern Riverside County's remaining natural landscape, introduces you to a variety of hiking experiences -- in sun and in shade. The inclusion of a 0.4-mile side trip to and from the east end of the 1.2-mile Granite Loop route lets you visit some tenajas (pools) along Cole Creek and a nice bit of willow and sycamore woodland.

To get there, exit Interstate 15 at Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta and drive south five miles to the reserve's visitor center, which is open on weekends from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Start the Granite Loop by going north from the west side of the parking lot (don't take the nearby multiuse Wiashal Trail, which also goes north). Right away, a slight negative change in elevation results in a big change of habitat. You go from sunny chaparral to shadowy live-oak woods in only a couple of minutes. Picnic tables are amid the oaks, overlooking a small ravine. The trail continues down along that ravine, then climbs onto a bouldery, chaparral-clad slope on the right.

At 0.4 mile you pass a short-cut trail on the right going back toward the visitor center. At 0.6 mile (right before the Granite Loop trail crosses Waterline Road) you come to the Vista Grande Trail, intersecting on the left. Follow the Vista Grande Trail (out and later back) to visit the Tenajas Overlook, with a view of Cole Creek. An interpretive panel explains how the tenajas, or small basins worn into the granitic bedrock here, are instrumental in supporting the web of life in the reserve during times of drought. Due to late rains this season, the waters of Cole Creek may form a large and attractive reflective pool here until perhaps through late summer.

Back on the Granite Loop, cross Waterline Road (dirt road) and enjoy the next 0.3 mile in particular as you stroll through a parklike landscape of spreading live oak trees. At two sites, sitting benches are provided under the oldest, most spectacular oaks. Nearing the end of the loop, you climb just a bit and finish the hike amid sunny chaparral.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Make a wedding-and-wine statement from Nordstrom Rack and Schutz

Report from the land of brand whores
Next Article

Dennis Caco's Mission Valley missing Midori

Max Boost creator finds car near Sweetwater Road

This mini-tour of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve, the jewel of southwestern Riverside County's remaining natural landscape, introduces you to a variety of hiking experiences -- in sun and in shade. The inclusion of a 0.4-mile side trip to and from the east end of the 1.2-mile Granite Loop route lets you visit some tenajas (pools) along Cole Creek and a nice bit of willow and sycamore woodland.

To get there, exit Interstate 15 at Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta and drive south five miles to the reserve's visitor center, which is open on weekends from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Start the Granite Loop by going north from the west side of the parking lot (don't take the nearby multiuse Wiashal Trail, which also goes north). Right away, a slight negative change in elevation results in a big change of habitat. You go from sunny chaparral to shadowy live-oak woods in only a couple of minutes. Picnic tables are amid the oaks, overlooking a small ravine. The trail continues down along that ravine, then climbs onto a bouldery, chaparral-clad slope on the right.

At 0.4 mile you pass a short-cut trail on the right going back toward the visitor center. At 0.6 mile (right before the Granite Loop trail crosses Waterline Road) you come to the Vista Grande Trail, intersecting on the left. Follow the Vista Grande Trail (out and later back) to visit the Tenajas Overlook, with a view of Cole Creek. An interpretive panel explains how the tenajas, or small basins worn into the granitic bedrock here, are instrumental in supporting the web of life in the reserve during times of drought. Due to late rains this season, the waters of Cole Creek may form a large and attractive reflective pool here until perhaps through late summer.

Back on the Granite Loop, cross Waterline Road (dirt road) and enjoy the next 0.3 mile in particular as you stroll through a parklike landscape of spreading live oak trees. At two sites, sitting benches are provided under the oldest, most spectacular oaks. Nearing the end of the loop, you climb just a bit and finish the hike amid sunny chaparral.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

North Park – the prime quartier

30th Street parking, Georgia Street bridge, PSA crash, water tower, North Park Main Street
Next Article

Giovanni Sgambati – an Italian Liszt

Wagner pushed for publication of Sgambati’s two piano quintets.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close