Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve


The approximately 7,500-acre Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is a relatively undisturbed area of oak woodland, chaparral, and native grassland habitat. Preservation of the plateau could begin to provide a corridor for movements of deer and mountain lion. Creeks draining the plateau contain deep holes, which hold water throughout the summer months and provide an important water source for wildlife.

For more information,call the visitor center office at (951) 677-6951

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Trails Information Kiosk or Visitor Center Restrooms Either Guided or Self-guided Interpretive Nature Tours Disabled Access - call for details

Activities: wildlife viewing, hiking

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

Evidence of Native American use has been identified in the form of village sites, morteros and cupule stones. The property has been used for cattle ranching, beginning with the Mexican land grant of 1841 to Pio Pico for Rancho Santa Margarita. In the 1960s, the land to the north and east of the Plateau Lands was sold for the development of Rancho California—a master-planned area, known today as the cities of Temecula and Murrieta.

In the years since, various development projects have been slated. An active community of concerned citizens has worked towards conserving the Santa Rosa Plateau. Protection has been an on-going process. Cattle were removed from the lands as they were protected, resulting in a varied grazing history. But overall, the grasslands have maintained their original native character. The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 1994.

Related Documents

Outdoor California Articles

Map of Santa Rosa Plateau ER location - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)

Riverside County

Directions: Hwy 15 north of Temecula. Exit Clinton-Keith Rd. Proceed southwest 4 mi to reserve.

CDFW Lands Viewer