If you’ve ever been to Murrieta during its magical fall season, you already know why this time of year is special to residents and visitors alike— the noise of crowds grows to a whisper, everyone’s favorite fall flavors are welcomed back into bars and restaurants, and those telltale autumn colors quietly transform the valley into a fiery burst of red, orange and yellow. The latter is a sight that would take most people’s breath away— are you one of them? If so, we’d like to introduce you to what could be your new favorite hobby.
Leaf peeping, which entails traveling to observe and photograph beautiful fall foliage, is a hobby that’s recently been spreading throughout the United States and Canada. As an activity that can be done anywhere, from backyards to National Parks, leaf peeping is a fantastic way to get outside and absorb the beauty that surrounds us.
Murrieta is absolutely teeming with opportunities for leaf peeping and other outdoor activities that bring you even closer to the picturesque scenery of the fall season. Species include ancient, towering oaks—of the coast live and Engelmann varieties— in addition to prairies full of bunchgrass and wildflowers.
Walking along a trail lined with vibrant ancient oaks feels even more magical than it sounds. Tucked into the foothills of Temecula Valley, Cole Canyon Natural Park is also located right next to Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve (currently closed due to wildfire). The sprawling 165-acre park offers 4 miles of equestrian, hiking and mountain biking trails in addition to picnicking areas, so you can leaf peep whichever way you want! Going during the fall season ensures temperate weather, assisted by the shady oaks that cover many of the trails.
Another of our favorite ways to observe some of Murrieta’s beautiful fall colors is to visit one of the area’s beautiful wineries, their vineyards full of stunning rows of red, yellow, orange and green. It’s never a bad idea to visit a winery during harvest season— not only are there beautiful fall colors and flavors, but the crowds are also significantly diminished. Check out our blog on diving into Murrieta’s beautiful wine country to learn more and start planning your fall winery trip.