The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Santa Rosa Plateau

Distance: 81 miles one-way. Now you see it, now you don't; that's the seasonal trick of vernal pools, a fancy name for big puddles that fill with rainwater in winter and dry up in summer. Go to the Santa Rosa Plateau (near Murrieta) in spring after it rains, grab a map at the visitor center, start at the Granite Loop and wind your way along impressive oak-lined hills and grasslands that end at a wooden boardwalk along the shallow vernal pools where curlews hang out in the chilly months. Info: (951) 677-6951, -- Mary Forgione
Daily Pilot
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