Purgatory Creek Natural Area

Purgatory small

The largest portion of the 570-acre Purgatory Natural Area, Upper can be accessed at Wonder World Drive and Craddock Avenue. Visitors can hike along an old jeep track that winds through the property. The creek includes upland meadows, canyon bluffs of 40 feet or more, dense juniper thickets, champion oaks, and a flood control dam. Several areas within this natural area are habitat for golden-cheeked warblers and black-capped vireos. Passive recreation opportunities support a trail along the narrows of the frequently dry Purgatory Creek bed that runs through this natural area.

There are three access points to Purgatory Natural Area.

Access to Lower Purgatory Natural Area Trail Head can be found at 2101 Hunter Rd this trail head features 35 parking spots, water fountain, port-a-potty 

Access to Prospect Park in the Northern part of Purgatory Natural Area can be found at 1414 Prospect. This trail head features less than 10 parking spaces, no water and no facilities

Access to Upper Purgatory Natural Area Trail Head can be found at 1751 Valenica Way. This trail head features 29 parking spaces, no water and has a port-a-potty at the trail head. 

Hiking & Trails

From leisurely strolls on ADA accessible trails to more challenging hikes on rugged terrain, San Marcos has trails for outdoor adventurers of all fitness levels.

Outdoors & Nature

San Marcos is a natural beauty and the most intriguing feature is her river. The San Marcos River bubbles to life from hundreds of springs right in the center of town. Always a refreshing 72…