Hiking Trails in the Inland Empire

Hiking inland empire Riverside UCR botanical garden

Hiking is perhaps one of the greatest outdoor activities we have available. It tears you away from your couch and TV. It gets you back to nature. It lets you explore local areas you otherwise might not see. It’s a fantastic workout and–unlike a gym–costs next to nothing (an Adventure Pass or parking fee may be required at some of these locations).

And we are blessed with plenty of trails here in the Inland Empire. Here are just some of our nearby hiking trails:

Claremont/Upland/Rancho Cucamonga Area

  • Claremont Hills Wilderness Trail: A moderately challenging 5 mile hike with some pretty steep climbs and descents.
  • Johnson’s PastureA easy 2 mile hike that links up with the Claremont Wilderness Trail at the end.
  • San Antonio FallsA fairly short and easy hike, up in the Mt. Baldy area.
  • Mt. Baldy LoopStrenuous 10 mile hike that will take you around, and to the top of, Mt. Baldy.
  • Marshall Canyon: Just north of La Verne, with several possible trails you can take. The middle route is pleasantly shady, and not too difficult.
  • Etiwanda FallsA roughly 40 minute uphill hike to a serene waterfall.
  • Bonita Canyon Falls: Another big waterfall hike, less than 2 miles long from the trail head. Just north of Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga, not far from the 15
  • Ice House CanyonA notoriously difficult (especially with snow and ice) but popular full day hike.
  • Bighorn Peak and Ontario PeakA hike that actually starts with the Ice House Canyon hike, but goes beyond its finish line and onto the peaks of two very tall mountains. Difficult.
  • Cucamonga PeakLike above, this one starts at Ice House Canyon’s finish line, but you’ll be rewarded with great views from one of the area’s tallest peaks.
  • Sapphire FallsA Rancho Cucamonga hike to a waterfall that is, sadly, unreachable as of April 2014. Fire concerns and other issues have forced the closure of much of this route, but a section does remain open (from Big Tree Road to the stream crossing).

San Bernardino/Redlands

  • Big FallsA fairly short trail in Redlands to one of So Cal’s biggest waterfalls.
  • Heaps Peak ArboretumA short and easy, but scenic, trail in between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear.
  • Heart Rock FallsHike a 2 mile trail to a rock with a miraculously formed heart carved right within it.
  • Oak Glen PreserveAn easy family-friendly hike through an actual apple orchard near Yucaipa. Pick some apples and eat some fresh apple pie when you’re finished!
  • Wildwood Canyon State ParkHas a number of different trails you can take, and can also be used for horseback riding and mountain biking.
  • Angelus Oaks to San Bernardino Peak16 miles in and out to one of the tallest mountains around, but you’ll be treated to gorgeous views.

Riverside

Temecula and Murietta

  • Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve: Has miles and miles of multiple trails with different lengths. Very pretty views.
  • Agua Tibia Loop: Best if you’re up for a challenge, because this trail is 20 miles long! Plan on either devoting most of your day, or camping overnight. For more casual hikers, the Dripping Springs Trail is part of the same trail network, but is a bit shorter at just under 14 miles.
  • Lake Skinner: Hike around this beautiful, clean lake conveniently located in nearby Winchester.

And last but not least, Joshua Tree National Park in the southeastern IE has a selection of short and long trails in one of America’s most unique desert landscapes.

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