Traveling down Wildcat Canyon Road, between Ramona / San Diego Country Estates and Lakeside, shortly after exiting the Barona Indian Reservation, you will find the Oak Oasis Open-Space Preserve on the West side of the road.
The relative small preserve covers about 400 acres of oak woodland. The main hiking trail is a 2.5 miles loop that can be extended to 3.4 miles and will take you two to three hours (elevation gain/loss of 700 feet).
Since this short hike is so very close to home and because of its oak grove and amazing views of San Vicente Reservoir, it’s one of my favorite places – moreover, I have never seen it crowded. Jerry Schad called it the Serene Oak Oasis, in his legendary Afoot and Afield: San Diego County: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide, but that was of course before the Cedar Fire had consumed 95% of the preserve.
Oak Oasis is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The trails are very well marked, horses and dogs on leash are OK, but no bikes.
Close to the location where the old split log cabin (constructed in 1936, restored in 2003, burned down by the Cedar Fire in the same year) used to be, is this old pump.
Up the hill, behind the old pump, is this old water tank
First Selfie of the Year: Happy New Year 2017!