Animals and NatureHiking

Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows – Murrieta, CA

We love the Santa Rosa Plateau, but it isn’t always open… and sometimes when it is open, it isn’t open completely. Back in November 2021, my youngest and I headed out for an early morning hike at Santa Rosa. Unfortunately, it was closed. Fortunately, Sylvan Meadows (located just across the street) was open so we gave it a shot. So, here are some pictures from our first hike at Sylvan Meadows.

Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows

Because Sylvan Meadows and Santa Rosa are only separated by a road, the scenery is similar. There are some big differences, however:

  • Size: Santa Rosa is much larger. According to the rivcoparks.org website, Sylvan Meadows is about 1,000 acres while Santa Rosa is about 9,000 acres.
  • Vernal pools: Santa Rosa has them (during rainy seasons). Sylvan Meadows does not.
  • Adobes: Santa Rosa has them. Sylvan Meadows does not.
  • Bikes / Horses / Dogs: Not allowed at Santa Rosa. Allowed at Sylvan Meadows.
Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows

Like Santa Rosa, the trails are fairly easy to follow. While there are nice sights at Sylvan Meadows, I definitely prefer to hike at Santa Rosa. Sylvan Meadows is great if you want to ride your horse or mountain bike, or bring your dog(s).

Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows
Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows
Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows
Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows

We saw a bunch of these above ground nests and were really curious what kind of animal makes them. According to a few Google searches, it appears that they are made by wood rats.

Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows

Not the greatest picture, but this bird was difficult to catch on camera. I think it’s a blue jay. Bird experts, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows

This little lizard was also difficult to capture in my lens because it fit in so well with the brush.

Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows

If you miss Santa Rosa and want an “almost” Santa Rosa experience, this is a good spot to try. It’s a great spot if you have a horse.

One thought on “Our First Hike at Sylvan Meadows – Murrieta, CA

  • Rebecca L Olsen

    Is the white-ish hole a snake burrow (fourth pic down, 2nd below the map)?

    Reply

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