Elliott Chaparral Reserve


The Elliott Chaparral Reserve, formerly part of the Camp Elliott Military Reservation, is located adjacent to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near Scripps Ranch, California. It includes a mixture of both coastal and desert habitats with a wide variety of coastal chaparral and coastal sage scrub.

  • Administering Campus: University of California, San Diego
  • Established: 1969
  • Location: San Diego County, 16 km (10 mi) northeast of San Diego campus; adjacent to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
  • Size: 74 ha (183 acres)
  • Elevation Range: 61 to 305 m (200 to 1,000 ft)
  • Latitude: 32° 52' 30" N
  • Longitude: 117° 15' 15" W
  • Average Precipitation: 26 cm (10 in) per year
  • Average Temperatures: Annual high: 22°C (71°F); Annual low: 12°C (53°F); Annual mean: 17°C (63°F)
  • Facilities: Field station includes storage container (8 ft x 20 ft.); trailer for staging, research, and short-stay accommodation for up to four; currently (September 2011) being upgraded with internet connection, and wireless access. Weather station with real-time data via web.
  • Resources: Reserve-based publications since 1995; herbarium (on campus); species lists for birds, herptiles, small mammals, vascular plants.
  • Personnel: Academic coordinator on campus; roaming steward; no personnel on site.
Map & Directions

View Elliot Chaparral Reserve in a larger map
From Interstate 5-S:
  1. Head east on Highway 56
  2. Go south on I-15 and follow directions below
From Interstate 5-N:
  1. Head east on Highway 52
  2. Go north on I-15 and follow directions below.
Detailed Directions:

From Interstate 15, exit east on Pomerado Road. Take the second right, where a gate and UC San Diego Elliott Field Station sign are visible. The first locked gate at the reserve entrance is a Palm Scan Gate. With the manager's approval (via online application) you must have your hand scanned for access on the UCSD campus prior to arriving. At the middle gate, the NRS combination lock and chain should be carefully replaced in the sequence where found. Do NOT tighten the chain more than necessary to lock it. To leave the main paved road, a high clearance, four-wheel drive is necessary.


Post 2003 Ceder Fire

Partially burned in the 2003 Cedar Fire, the Elliott Reserve is available for class and research use, including installation of plots and instrumentation, as needed. A weather station based on Campbell Scientific instrumentation collects data continuously, soon to be streaming on the internet. Archived data available on request.