OverviewThe Santa Rosa Plateau is a mass of earth uplifted 500-1000 feet above its surroundings. The plateau is owned and run by the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve which restricts biking to certain areas. The reserve charges a $2/person a day fee.
In summer, there may be blazing temps into the 110's. Although much of the area is covered in trees, fires regularly burn which may leave open patches of grassland. (covered in holes!) Therefore, it is best avoided biking this time of year.
Perhaps one of the most visited and notable features of the plateau are its Vernal Pools. These are seasonal ponds of water once plentiful in California by nearly wiped out by settlers in the 1800's. Unfortunately though, biking is not allowed here.
Getting ThereThe plateau is bounded by communities to the east. A few of these include Murrieta, Temecula, Sun City... Temecula, at a population of over 80,000, is the largest. Therefore, it is the starting point here.
From the downtown area, take I-15 north to Clinton Keith Road and exit. Take left into Murrieta and continue up the road as it climbs onto the plateau and becomes Tenaja Road. The visitor center should appear shortly which can give a full list of all the trails open to bikes.
Biking is restricted to multi-use areas and trails. There is just one multi-use area and one trail outside of that area so options are limited. Note that the rules state to yield to horse riders which also take these trails.
Sylvan Meadows- Sylvan Meadows is located just south of the visitor center. (farther down the road) It is a dried meadow surrounded by trees (some are green and others are yellow). A few trails run through the area and connect it with Tenaja Road.
Washall Trail- This trail begins at the visitor center. Park and look for the trailhead near the entrance to the lot.
Also, a $2 per person fee should be paid at the visitor center.
External LinksFollow these links for more info:
Riverside CP: Santa Rosa Plateau- Riverside County Park's page on the reserve.
Park Map- A copy of the park map. This is also available at the visitor center.