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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 Inland Deserts Region Bermuda Dunes office at (760) 200-9174.

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

PLEASE NOTE: For information on public use regulations for this area and other Department lands please refer to the link opens in new windowCDFW Public Lands Regulations booklet. Scroll to the Table of Contents. Locate the page number for general regulations for public uses on all Department lands. For additional regulations that apply only to certain properties, check the Table of Contents for sections that refer to additional or property-specific regulations for wildlife areas or ecological reserves. All visitors are responsible for knowing and following the general and property-specific regulations.

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

Last update : 12/19/2018 10:24:44 AM

Wildlife Branch - Lands Program
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411

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