From late summer to early fall, DPR conservatively opens a 6-mile out-and-back trail in a secluded part of the Ramona Grasslands, named the Old Survey Road 97 Trail.
Old Survey Road 97 Trail* is open Saturdays and Sundays between Aug. 15 to Nov. 15, from 8 a.m. until sunset - and only to visitors who’ve completed a quick tutorial and secured their temporary permit.
Golden eagles have been seen foraging in the area, and it’s for their protection that we keep it closed during nesting season.
In fact, more than a hundred bird species have been documented on site – but it’s not all about the birds. There are also 23 butterfly species, 21 reptile species, six types of amphibians and 37 mammals. This rich habitat also supports 40 threatened or endangered animals and 16 protected plants.
Access to the preserve is limited to 50 permit holders per day, and there are rules that come with the priviledge to visit this unique area, for example:
Visitors are also asked to stay on the trails - for their safety and for the safety of the wildlife and natural resources on site - and to leave no trace - packing out whatever they bring in.
Rangers patrol the area regularly and any visitors who are seen violating these rules will be asked to leave and will lose access to the trail for the rest of the season.
*What's in a name? Old Survey Road 97 was historically significant between 1825 and 1930, connecting travelers from San Diego’s backcountry to San Pasqual and Santa Maria Valley. It was used to transport mail, settlers, goldminers, soldiers on their way to the Battle of San Pasqual and more – and is said to be the first dedicated County road.