Santa Ysabel Nature Center Loop Trail

Santa Ysabel, CA
Length: 5.00 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

[Total: 2    Average: 4/5]

Santa Ysabel Nature Center Loop is a 5 mile moderate loop in Santa Ysabel. The trail has rolling grass hills sprinkled with oak trees and large boulders. The trail is not stroller accessible and single track most of the way. Keep an eye out for cows wandering in the fields too! The trail starts at the left side of the Santa Ysabel Nature Center, through an unlocked gate. It is best to complete the trail counter clockwise, so the up hill climb isn’t as steep. The first 1.5 miles has gentle rolling hills and are great for younger walkers. At the 1.5 mile marker, there is a sign right before the big uphill climb. If you want to make the hike easier, you can turn around there for a 3 mile round trip easy hike. If you want a moderate hike, continue on the entire loop for 5 total miles including one big uphill climb.

After your hike, make sure to cool off in the Nature Center! It has the only bathrooms in the area, a very neat kid friendly exhibit about the local animals, plants, rocks, and history of the area, and there is a very cool natural playground outside. Afterward you can head over to the Julian Pie Company just a block down the road.



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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 662 ft.
Stroller friendly No
Stroller terrain No Wheels
ADA accessible No
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Natural Play Area, Picnic Area, Rockclimbing, Tree Climbing, Viewpoint, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

Rolling grass hills with oak trees, rocks, and cows, starting at a Nature Center.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Follow the road toward the Visitor’s Center and park in one of the three lots.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 2    Average: 4/5]

Hike it Baby member since spring 2016. Current HiB Asheville NC Branch Ambassador. Past HiB San Diego CA and Orange County CA Branch Ambassador, and past National Team volunteer for Community Values, HiB30 Challenge Prizes, Mentor, and Ambassador Continued Education teams.


Trail Head


Trail Map

Getting There

If you are coming on the 78 through Ramona, continue toward Julian. Once you get into Santa Ysabel, you will see the Julian Pie Company to your left. Turn left at the 79.

If you are coming on the 79 through Cuyamaca and Julian, continue toward Ramona. Once you get to Santa Ysabel, turn right to stay on the 79. If you pass the Julian Pie Company, you’ve gone too far.

About a block down you will see a paved road and sign for the Santa Ysabel Nature Center on your right, turn there and the parking lots are down the road on your right. Just a heads up, the Nature Center is so new that Google maps is not yet updated to include it.