North County and Around Sights

Santa Ysabel Preserve

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

Three Native American tribes live in this valley, which looks pretty much the way the backcountry appeared a century ago, with sweeping meadows surrounded by oak-studded hillsides. The tribes operate small farms and run cattle here. The San Dieguito River (Santa Ysabel Creek) emerges from Volcan Mountain here and winds its way 55 miles to Dog Beach at Del Mar. A hiking, biking, and equestrian trail system follows the river from Farmer Road in Julian to the West Entrance just west of Santa Ysabel. Legacy oak tree shade the trail, waterfalls provide a background sound, there are spectacular views along the way, and picnic tables abound.

Sight Information


Julian, California, 92036, United States




Published 07/06/2016


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