Information on:

Santa Rosa Plateau

39400 Clinton Keith Road

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains in southwest Riverside County near the city of Murrieta, is a hidden gem that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and ecosystems of the area. Consisting of 9000 acres, the Reserve protects unique ecosystems such as Engelmann oak woodlands, riparian wetlands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, bunchgrass prairie, and vernal pools as well as more than 200 species of native birds and 49 endangered, threatened or rare animal and plant species, including mule deer, mountain lions, badgers, bobcats, western pond turtles, white-tailed kites and fairy shrimp. Of the two species of fairy shrimp that live in the seasonal vernal pools on the Reserve, one is found only here and nowhere else on Earth!

An especially popular day-hike destination at the Reserve is the Moreno and Machado Adobes, the two oldest standing structures in Riverside County, which date back to 1846 and once served as bunkhouses for cowboys. These interesting historical buildings, shaded by a 400-year-old tree and separated by a relaxing one-of-a-kind picnic area, provide a unique opportunity to experience Riverside County’s rich history.

The Reserve offers a number of interpretive programs and trail walks. Horseback riding and mountain biking are popular activities in the Sylvan Meadows Multi-Use Area of the Plateau.

Visitors may pick up a brochure at the Riverside County Park District Headquarters, or simply drop by the Reserve to check it out.


Barbara Kennedy

Thursday, March 15, 2018
I love the Santa Rosa Plateau. My family has been hiking it for 25 years. My four sons all have done their Eagle Scout Projects at The Plateau, and my daughter is addicted to hiking here. We have had wonderful experiences here besides the exercise. Family bonding, wild life encounters (coyotes, deer, snakes, black widows, tarantulas), the beauty of the whisps of fog as it lays between hills. It’s a beautiful place that takes you back in time, and so easy to forget that a road and civilization are, at times, only yards from your trail.

philip Dickerson

Friday, Dec. 29, 2017
We walked down many different paths and have been here twice. There are a lot of old oak trees to rest under for shade. Most of the paths are only a couple of miles long. Several families were on the trails on our last visit. It's great to bring a lunch. Horse's and bikes are not allowed here. Dogs are only allowed on a couple of small paths. There are mountain lions and you can see many of there tracks. But I think they stay off the paths during the day. It is open from sunrise to sunset. It's important to sta on the trails for your safety. Remember whatever you take in, that you bring it out with you. This is a beautiful place to spend the day hiking. ENJOY it, don't destroy it.

Daniel Webb

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Beautiful place. They charge to use the trails which is dumb. Just use them and don't pay. What are their taxes for?


Sunday, April 15, 2018
A wonderful place to visit to get away from the city life. You will see a huge array of species here. Birds, mountain lions, coyotes, tarantulas, etc. Always an amazing time hiking in this area. Don't forget to donate this place survives on donations.

jameison moore

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
This place was amazing and a well deserved excersize that I needed for that week. I went with a few of my good friends from high school and I must say we enjoyed yourself greatly and we would like to go as many times as we can to preserve that moment.

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