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

Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve — East

A cow grazes near a seasonal pond. Do not approach or spook the cows,as they are overprotective when their calves are near.
A cow grazes near a seasonal pond. Do not approach or spook the cows,as they are overprotective when their calves are near.

Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve is one of the best kept secrets of San Diego County. The preserve’s west area offers hikers a little over 11 miles of oak woodlands, riparian, chaparral, and grassland habitats. With 3,800 acres of wilderness, this preserve offers something for everyone and is well worth a day trip.

The Nature Conservancy bought the land in 1999 from its longtime owners, the Edwards family of Julian. The State of California purchased the land from the conservancy and in 2001 San Diego County acquired it with help from the state Wildlife Conservation Board. It was opened to the public in 2006 and continues to provide land for grazing cattle.

Begin at either the Hwy 79 Trailhead or Farmer Staging Area. Both entrances start with an easy hike through grasslands and wildflower meadows on a wide, firmly packed dirt trail. The best time to visit the preserve is March through June, when rainfalls welcome stalks of purple lupines, a variety of blooming ceanothus, delicate checkerblooms, four- to eight-foot-tall yucca whipplei with purple-tinged white flowers, white and black sage covered with nectar-gathering bees, and a colorful assortment of wildflowers. Visitors will be pleasantly surprised to be met by a herd of cattle and their calves grazing along the trail. Do not approach or spook the cows, as they are overprotective when their calves are near.

Seasonal rainfalls feed the Santa Ysabel Creek, which flows through the Kanapa Loop Trail. There are also several perennial springs and cattle ponds along the hike. The inclines can be steep and challenging, but once you reach the top of a hill, the view is spectacular. The landscape is dotted with giant sycamores and several varieties of oak trees: coast live, Englemann, scrub oak, black oak, and the occasional hybridized mixed oak. Look up higher and you will likely see a soaring red-tail hawk, turkey vulture, or even an eagle. Look lower and you might spot a rafter of wild turkeys.

After 4.8 miles on the West Vista Loop Trail, you can continue another 3 miles on the Coast to Crest Trail to meet up with the 3.3-mile Kanaka Loop Trail at the end of the Farmer Staging Area Trailhead. Or you can choose to take a leisurely 2–4 hour hike through one of the loops. The trailhead and trails are all well marked with trail maps and points of interest along the way. If you continue on the Coast to Crest Trail, the habitat abruptly changes from grassland and oak woodland to chaparral. Plants in this part of the preserve are dense and shrubby, including chamise, scrub oak, mountain mahogany, matchweed, basketbush, and buckwheat.

To prevent damage to the trails, after rain or snow, the preserve is closed until the trails dry out. Be sure to carry plenty of water, as Santa Ysabel can be hot and dry during the summer and there is no water available on the trails. There are no trash receptacles, so please pack-in, pack-out.

Distance from downtown San Diego: About 54 miles. There are two trailheads. Allow 1.5 hours’ driving time. No facilities.

Highway 79 Trailhead: Take Hwy 78 into Santa Ysabel. Turn north onto Hwy 79. Trailhead is 1.5 miles north of Santa Ysabel or just south of the Santa Ysabel Mission. Parking is available along Hwy 79.

Farmer Staging Area: From Julian take Main St. north out of town for about 2.2 miles (Main St. becomes Farmer Rd.). Turn right on Wynola Rd. for about 100 yards and then take the first left, which is a continuation of Farmer/Volcan Mtn. Rd., about 1 mile to parking lot on left.

Hiking length: 4.8-mile and 3.3-mile (Hwy 79 Trailhead and Farmer Staging Area, respectively) loop trails at the beginning of each staging area with a 3-mile trail connecting the loops. Difficulty: Easy to moderate with 250 feet elevation gain/loss.

Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to lead interpretive nature walks that teach appreciation for the great outdoors. For a schedule of free public hikes:

http://www.sdnhm.org/education/naturalists-of-all-ages/canyoneer-hikes/

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

Previous article

Wall of Moms MAGA?

Non-profit expands efforts to include stopping flow of drugs to kids
Next Article

Will San Diego survive a fall without classical music?

Just as symphony, Mainly Mozart, La Jolla Music Society were getting stronger
A cow grazes near a seasonal pond. Do not approach or spook the cows,as they are overprotective when their calves are near.
A cow grazes near a seasonal pond. Do not approach or spook the cows,as they are overprotective when their calves are near.

Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve is one of the best kept secrets of San Diego County. The preserve’s west area offers hikers a little over 11 miles of oak woodlands, riparian, chaparral, and grassland habitats. With 3,800 acres of wilderness, this preserve offers something for everyone and is well worth a day trip.

The Nature Conservancy bought the land in 1999 from its longtime owners, the Edwards family of Julian. The State of California purchased the land from the conservancy and in 2001 San Diego County acquired it with help from the state Wildlife Conservation Board. It was opened to the public in 2006 and continues to provide land for grazing cattle.

Begin at either the Hwy 79 Trailhead or Farmer Staging Area. Both entrances start with an easy hike through grasslands and wildflower meadows on a wide, firmly packed dirt trail. The best time to visit the preserve is March through June, when rainfalls welcome stalks of purple lupines, a variety of blooming ceanothus, delicate checkerblooms, four- to eight-foot-tall yucca whipplei with purple-tinged white flowers, white and black sage covered with nectar-gathering bees, and a colorful assortment of wildflowers. Visitors will be pleasantly surprised to be met by a herd of cattle and their calves grazing along the trail. Do not approach or spook the cows, as they are overprotective when their calves are near.

Seasonal rainfalls feed the Santa Ysabel Creek, which flows through the Kanapa Loop Trail. There are also several perennial springs and cattle ponds along the hike. The inclines can be steep and challenging, but once you reach the top of a hill, the view is spectacular. The landscape is dotted with giant sycamores and several varieties of oak trees: coast live, Englemann, scrub oak, black oak, and the occasional hybridized mixed oak. Look up higher and you will likely see a soaring red-tail hawk, turkey vulture, or even an eagle. Look lower and you might spot a rafter of wild turkeys.

After 4.8 miles on the West Vista Loop Trail, you can continue another 3 miles on the Coast to Crest Trail to meet up with the 3.3-mile Kanaka Loop Trail at the end of the Farmer Staging Area Trailhead. Or you can choose to take a leisurely 2–4 hour hike through one of the loops. The trailhead and trails are all well marked with trail maps and points of interest along the way. If you continue on the Coast to Crest Trail, the habitat abruptly changes from grassland and oak woodland to chaparral. Plants in this part of the preserve are dense and shrubby, including chamise, scrub oak, mountain mahogany, matchweed, basketbush, and buckwheat.

To prevent damage to the trails, after rain or snow, the preserve is closed until the trails dry out. Be sure to carry plenty of water, as Santa Ysabel can be hot and dry during the summer and there is no water available on the trails. There are no trash receptacles, so please pack-in, pack-out.

Distance from downtown San Diego: About 54 miles. There are two trailheads. Allow 1.5 hours’ driving time. No facilities.

Highway 79 Trailhead: Take Hwy 78 into Santa Ysabel. Turn north onto Hwy 79. Trailhead is 1.5 miles north of Santa Ysabel or just south of the Santa Ysabel Mission. Parking is available along Hwy 79.

Farmer Staging Area: From Julian take Main St. north out of town for about 2.2 miles (Main St. becomes Farmer Rd.). Turn right on Wynola Rd. for about 100 yards and then take the first left, which is a continuation of Farmer/Volcan Mtn. Rd., about 1 mile to parking lot on left.

Hiking length: 4.8-mile and 3.3-mile (Hwy 79 Trailhead and Farmer Staging Area, respectively) loop trails at the beginning of each staging area with a 3-mile trail connecting the loops. Difficulty: Easy to moderate with 250 feet elevation gain/loss.

Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to lead interpretive nature walks that teach appreciation for the great outdoors. For a schedule of free public hikes:

http://www.sdnhm.org/education/naturalists-of-all-ages/canyoneer-hikes/

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

Three poems for August by Dorothy Parker

With an acidic wit and keen eye for flawed humanity
Next Article

Alison Tummond: preventing summer’s silent killer

“Anytime you have a pool, or a bathtub, or a toilet, or a bucket, a child can drown.”
Comments
1

Great posting! Thanks for sharing such good stuff with all.

July 30, 2012

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