The Inaja Memorial in Santa Ysabel
Our family absolutely loves the scenic and winding drive up to Julian, CA for some hot apple cider and warm apple pie on lazy Sunday mornings in the fall. Many locals from San Diego and surrounding cities have also been clued into the absolute treasure the sleepy town of Julian is – but there are still many treasures and adventures to be had. One of those treasured spots is the Inaja Memorial located in Santa Ysabel.
The Inaja Memorial in Santa Ysabel is a memorial to 11 brave firefighters who lost their lives while battling a devastating wildfire in November 25, 1956. This idyllic location pays respect to those men who lost their lives and is a great reminder for all generations to appreciate the land many have fought for. Along with these great memorials and placards, there is a wonderful nature trail to hike along and take in the fantastic views of rugged San Diego River Canyon.
The nature trail begins just past the picnic area and immediately rewards hikers with wonderful views. The trail is a winding one that hugs corners and dips behind wonderful rock formations that dot the hillside. Our oldest son, 6, immediately took off running on this trail happily exclaiming the trail is actually a “rollercoaster!”
The hiking loop leads to a very scenic summit that sits at approximately 3440 feet. From here, hikers are able to enjoy great views and even look through a viewing scope that points to various geographical points throughout San Diego. The kids enjoy feeling like pioneers looking into the scope as far as the eye can see in many directions.
From this highpoint, the nature loop leads back down towards the parking area and prepared for more days adventures.
Written by: Trevor Luepton
Distance: 0.5 mile trail
Hike Time: 30 minutes to 2.5 hours
Best Seasons: All Seasons
Location: On Hwy 78 East of Santa Ysabel
Ranger District: Palomar Ranger District – (760) 788-0250
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