Monument Hill (dayhike)

SA Report: The cradle seems to be rocking

Trip Date: 1/25/2015

Location: Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve

Permit/Pass: Day use: $3 each adult pedestrian, $2 each child between 2 and 12.

Trails: RivCoParks Map

Directions: From Interstate 15 in California between Wildomar and Murrieta take the Clinton Keith Rd. exit and head south on Clinton Keith Rd. 4.1 miles to a left turn into the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve Visitor Center parking lot. (Begin the hike on the north side of the Visitor Center on the Waterline Rd. trail.)

Synopsis: Probably as forgiving a five-mile hike as you'll find, this trip offer some nice views of two of the tallest mountains in southern California to the east, and, on a clear day, the ocean to the west. Sections of the fire roads can be pretty rocky, but for the most part, the hiking is quite comfortable.

Trail sequence: Waterline Rd. / Granite Loop trail / Vista Grande Trail / Monument Hill Rd. / Monument Hill spur / Monument Hill Rd. / Lomas Trail / Tenaja Truck Trail / Waterline Rd.

Type: Balloon loop

Distance: 5.1 miles


Elevation: Min. - 1666', Max. - 2030'

Rating: Easy-Moderate (factors: heat)

Trail Notes: There is a profusion of paths, especially near the start, so even though the trails here are quite well-marked, it pays to have a trail map and pay close attention.


Monument Hill - Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve

Turn by Turn:

  -- After embarking on the Waterline Rd. trail next to the Visitor Center, you head southeast for a short distance before coming to a junction with the Granite Loop trail (be sure to wait for where Granite Loop actually leaves from both sides of Waterline Rd.). Turn left onto Granite Loop and walk a few yards to the right turn onto Vista Grande Trail.

  -- Follow Vista Grande for almost a mile, then cross Tenaja Truck Trail and continue on Vista Grande for another .7 miles as it meets up with Monument Hill Rd. Turn right (west) onto Monument Hill Rd.

  -- After about a half mile you reach the spur that takes you out onto Monument Hill, a good spot for a break and some nice views.

  -- Upon returning to Monument Hill Rd., turn left (west) and follow the trail for nearly three-quarters of a mile to a junction with Lomas Trail. Turn right onto Lomas.

  -- Drop the half mile on Lomas Trail, then turn right (east) onto Tenaja Truck Trail.

  -- Nearly a mile of level hiking on Tenaja brings you to Waterline Rd. once again. Turn left 9 (north) and follow Waterline all the way back to your car.


Photo Gallery: Flickr