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Vista Grande Trail via the Boulder Loop Trail

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


4.0 mile 6.4 kilometer loop


Ascent: 293' 89 m
Descent: -294' -89 m
High: 1,938' 591 m
Low: 1,748' 533 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Jacob Collins

An out and back hike in one of the richest and most biodiverse areas in Southern California.

Jacob Collins

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This trail is fairly easy with only moderate inclines. Keep in mind this is an area where rattlesnakes can be found so keep young children close.

Open from sunrise to sunset. No dogs or ATV's. Not sure about Mountain Bikes. Check the website before visiting for more information: rivcoparks.org/education/sa…


The Santa Rosa plateau offers an escape from the fast pace of daily life by providing an untouched, natural area rich in flora and fauna.


The Boulder Loop Trailhead is located at the northeast end of the parking lot and is a widely used trail. Once through this area, you'll hit multiple junctions that lead to various parts of the plateau trail system with many leading to dirt access roads.

Follow trail signs while keeping left, leading to the Grande Vista Trail. Along this trail, you'll find Tenajas, pockets in the stream beds created by water rolling back into itself when met with these large boulder in its path, all of which create ecosystems found nowhere else.

You'll cross seasonal streams over well-maintained foot bridges leading to open space grasslands bordered by Engelmann Oaks and wildflowers in the spring. When clear, you can see Mt. San Jacinto and Mt.San Gorgonio to the east.

In the mornings and evenings, mule deer can be seen skirting the tree lines and also coyotes racing across the trails ahead of you. Birds, bugs, reptiles, and more can be found year round. This is a jewel of an area, and we're very fortunate to have it.

Flora & Fauna

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!

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ADA Accessible, Need to Know, History & Background


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May 17, 2017
Jacob Collins
4mi — 187h 00m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


  5.0 from 1 vote
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1,073 Since May 17, 2017



A footbridge aids your crossing near the Tenajas.
May 17, 2017 near Murrieta, CA
Enjoy a pleasant, pastoral view looking east toward Mt. San Jacinto from the Vista Grande Trail.
May 17, 2017 near Murrieta, CA


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