Sylvan Meadows in December (8 photos)

Some photographic impressions from the “Sylvan Meadows” area of Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. This is the portion of the reserve that lies north of Clinton Keith Road, and dogs are allowed on the trails here. Toni was very happy about that!

On a weekday in December the place was almost deserted, and Toni and I enjoyed the quiet and solitude of the hike. To the west, marine stratus persisted and made for a nice light show over the hills. Starting at the small parking area across the street from the visitor center I began to hike in a north-westerly direction on the Tovashal trail and soon reached the actual meadows, where I continued on the Sylvan Meadows (dirt) road to an intersection where another trail leads to Stevenson Canyon.

In the cool shade of this canyon is a short loop trail, and the oaks grow tall and beautiful there. They’re a bit sheltered from direct sunlight behind a ridge to the west, at least in the afternoon, and are provided with some additional moisture in the canyon. This area was clearly my favorite of the day!

Once back out of the canyon, I enjoyed the soft glow of twilight in the sky and on the landscape. December days are short! Returning to the trail intersection I now continued in a southerly direction towards the Sylvan Meadows trailhead, from where a trail more or less along Clinton Keith Road returns to the visitor center. This made for a loop of about 7 miles.

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