The Santa Rose Plateau Ecological Reserve

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is located just South of LaCresta which is in the unincorporated area of Murrieta, CA.  The Reserve is open sunrise to sunset.  The price is $4.00 per adult and $3.00 per child.

At the end of the Santa Ana mountains, near Murrieta, by LaCresta, is the wonderful area of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.  There are trails to hike, ride your bike and specific trails at Sylvan Meadows to ride your horses.  There are seasonal vernal pools which have some of the most unique things in them that you cannot see anywhere else.  There are so many creatures that live on the Reserve.  There are deer, mountain lions, badgers, tarantulas, snakes along with so many different kinds of birds.  There are many unique plants on the Reserve as well.  It’s so beautiful, you should come and go for a hike and bring a picnic!

There are two adobes which date back to 1846.  These used to house cowboys.  Juan Moreno moved 100 head of his cattle to the Plateau.  The Mexican Governor of the territory of California granted 48,000 acres to Juan Moreno. In 1855, the U.S. Attorney General challenged his right to the land.  Moreno was not able financially to pursue the matter in court.  He sold the Santa Rosa Rancho to Augustin Machado in 1855.  The price was $1,000 along with $500.00 with of livestock.  Boy, I wish I were around then to purchase that!!! Juan Machado’s father left him the land in 1865.  His title to the land was finalized in 1872. Boy, title took a long time back then!

In 1876, the Santa Rosa Rancho was sold to businessmen from Britain for $1.00 an acre.  That is not a typo. Again, why was I not around to buy this!!! Walter Vail bought the land in 1904 and had it for over 60 years.  In 1964 he sold it to Kaiser Steel for 21 million, yes that is correct.  Much of the land was leased for cattle to graze. In 1984 the Nature Conservancy purchased 3100 acres of land on the Plateau which included the Moreno and Machado adobes.  These are Riverside County’s oldest standing structures.

If I can help you buy a home that surround the Santa Rose Plateau Ecological Preserve, give me a call at 951-204-1864.  This is a beautiful area, I should know I have a home down here and love it’s beauty.  Every time I drive up and down the hill I am amazed at a how beautiful and how lucky I am to own a home here.

You can search for homes at

Thanks for reading, Joan

I am a realtor in the Inland Empire and have almost 30 years combined experience to help you with your real estate needs. I am a certified short sale specialist, have my GRI, my B.A, and CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) designations all of this combined with my many years of being out in the field I am one of the hardest working agents you will find. I look forward to helping you, so give me a call at 951-204-1864 or send me an email at Looking forward to meeting you!

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