Roberts Ranch is a relatively new addition to San Diego’s public lands and open spaces – it occupies a corner between I-8 and Japatul Valley Road near Descanso, and if I’m not mistaken, is now a part of Cleveland National Forest.
We hiked there for the first time last Sunday, and the scenery and vegetation reminded us a lot of Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West: Engelmann Oaks, open grassland, grazing cows – and in addition to that, some beautiful Manzanitas! Despite its location so close to the freeway, and much to our surprise, the noise faded away quickly as we hiked in, and we felt quite immersed in this beautiful landscape.
True hiking trails have not (yet?) been established, and as soon as we reached the open meadow that is the central part of Roberts Ranch we just roamed around freely – even when there was no cow path, the cows keep the grasses short and it was nice and easy walking everywhere.
At sunset we found one most amazing specimen of a Manzanita, chock-full with flowers, bees buzzing all around, and an incredibly sweet scent lingered around the shrubby tree – I had never noticed that Manzanita flowers could have such an intensively sweet smell!
The reserve isn’t big and we easily made it back to the car in the last light of the day. Our lazy little loop around the meadow made for a total of just 2.8 miles. Some impressions in the gallery below. Click on a thumbnail to open the photo larger in the slide show viewer, with navigation:subscribe via email (the subscription form opens in a new browser window/tab). It's easy as pie! :-)
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