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Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve

April 22 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

The Santa Rosa Plateau, located at the Southern edge of the Santa Ana Mountains in western Riverside County, is one of our areas most remarkable natural history and botanical sites. Varied soils, a basalt rock base, clay composition and a moderately level terrain have created a very special area for nature lovers.

Hailey Laskey, Preserve Manager with Center for Natural Lands Management will lead this amazing trip through restricted-entry areas of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve (SRPER). This will include a post-fire recovery area, past chocolate lilies, and up to Mesa De Burro.

We will drive through the 2019 Tenaja Fire burn scar to observe the regrowth of the chaparral and a budding forb community toward the main focus of the tour. We will then start our tour of one of the seven plateaus of the area, Mesa de Burro, to observe the native Stipa pulchra grasslands and vernal pools. The vernal pools hold an assemblage of rare, beautiful and specialized plants, including two species of Downingia, Blennosperma nanum, Brodiaeas, Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii, Euphorbia spathulata, Isoetes howellii, Muilla maritima, Myosurus minimus, Orcuttia californica and Pilularia americana. We will walk 2-3 miles over relatively flat, but uneven ground through very healthy and diverse grasslands and discuss the ecology of the area and the plants present.

Vehicles with high clearance and 4 wheel drive are required to drive to Mesa De Burro. We will meet and carpool in the 4 WD vehicles from the SRPER Visitor Center. If we do not have enough 4×4 vehicles, we will hike to the location (as we did in 2022).

An alternative hike could also occur due to unfavorable weather and dangerous road conditions. If we get significant rain the week before the event, we won’t be able to go up to Burro Mesa; and instead will visit the Vernal Pools on Colorado Mesa.

Before arriving please clean out boots, pant cuffs, pockets, bags, etc., of all seeds. We will be spraying car tires and boots on arrival with hydrogen peroxide to prevent the spread of rabbit hemorrhagic disease.


April 22
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


SRPER Visitor Center
39400 Clinton Keith Road
Murrieta, CA 92562 United States
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Orange County