Ramona Grasslands

A great open space for a trail run or a walk.

Two Visits in late April

I make an effort to find places in Southern California that remind me of Northern California - places with meadows and oak trees that aren't crawling with people. Santa Rosa Plateau is a nice spot. Same goes for Love Valley Meadow near Palomar Mountain. But, both are an hour plus drive, which is long enough to discourage me from going very often. The half hour drive to Ramona Grasslands is much more tolerable - I could even make it out there after work in the spring or fall.

My first visit was for a trail run on a Sunday evening in late April. There were 5 cars in the parking area when I arrived and I saw less than 10 people on my 3 mile run. It was a nice, partly cloudy day, and the sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds.

The next Saturday I went back with the family. I ran a little, but mostly walked with them. We saw 3 people, 3 dogs, a whole lot of squirrels and fortunately no rattlesnakes. Maybe the popular hikes up nearby Mount Woodson and Iron Mountain are to thank for the lack of people here. Being here late in the day also helps - I noticed on the way out that the Woodson and Iron Mountain parking areas weren't very full.

Getting There

The Ramona Grasslands parking area is a few miles North of the highway 67 roadside parking for Mount Woodson. I've hiked up Woodson a number of times, but inexplicably never continued up 67 and Archie Moore Road to find this place. Coming from the Rancho Bernardo area it's a short, but slow, half hour drive to the parking area.

Ramona Grasslands at sunset.
Golden grass and Mount Woodson. Ramona Grasslands.
Ramona Grasslands.
Ramona Grasslands.