Hike Mt. Rubidoux
Los Angeles › Mt. Rubidoux Trail
Added by Matthew Stanfield
Mt. Rubidoux is the perfect place for hikers looking for a shorter distance. Explore unique rock formations and prohibition cave folklore. * 2.7mi Mt. Rubidoux Trail is a paved, moderate-incline path.
Featuring over 161 acres and over 3.5 miles of combined paved and dirt trails, Mount Rubidoux Park in Riverside, CA is a beautiful natural environment and adventure location. Although some say this is just a "hill", this Inland Empire gem offers a quick escape from the pace of city life. Just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Riverside, this rocky desert environment changes with the seasons. The iconic mountain and city landmark is lush and green in cooler months, and displays amber-brown hues in warmer months. Tons of densely packed granitic rocks, towering boulders, and wildlife provide ample recreation and photo opportunities.
The mountain and paved trail are named after Louis Rubidoux, who established the Rancho Rubidoux region in 1847. The park itself was established in 1906 (then Huntington Park) when Frank Miller, owner of the nearby historic Mission Inn, purchased the property and formed the Huntington Park Association. In 1955, the Miller family donated the property to the city and the park’s name was changed to present-day Frank A. Miller Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park.
The Mt. Rubidoux Trail is the main trail in the park. It is a popular 2.7 mile paved loop trail that offers scenic views and is great for multiple activities and skill levels. The family-friendly trail is a double corkscrew type that reaches the summit of Mt. Rubidoux at 1,331 feet. This provides a moderate elevation gain of about 500 feet. It is primarily used by hikers, runners, walkers, and cyclists. There are two options on this trail: a "steep way" and an "easy way". The split is near the lower junction, after entering near Bonaminio Park (address and directions provided below). The trail will wind in either direction before joining and looping again below the summit at the Ben Lewis bridge. The summit itself is at the prominent white cross atop an outcropping of rocks.
Just short of the summit, on the East side of the mountain, is the Frank Miller Peace Tower. Also known as the World Peace Bridge, this is a neat architectural piece. It was dedicated to Frank Miller in 1925. There is a plaque contained here, which honors the heroic efforts of equestrian competitor Shunzo Kido during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
Once at the top, you can enjoy sweeping 360 degree views of downtown Riverside, the surrounding mountains and cities. The snow-capped peaks of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and Santa Ana mountains are visible in the Winter months. The big peaks of San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, and Mt. Baldy are all visible from this trail. This trail can be crowded, particularly during the cooler seasons. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This trail is accessible year-round and is best enjoyed at sunrise/sunset. It can be intensely hot in the Summer.
There is an additional network of dirt trails for trail running and rock climbing (bouldering and top-roping) within the park. Buena Vista trail is a local favorite, located near the Buena Vista Bridge, which spans Mission Inn Ave. This switchback trail provides views and unique rock formations. There are several other notches/chasms/secret places that can be viewed off of the dirt trails.
There is an opportunity for cave hunting within Mt. Rubidoux Park as well. It is rumored that Frank Miller had a stake in the game during the prohibition era. In conjunction with others, as the story goes, he distributed bootlegged liquor to citizens in Riverside through a tunnel and cave system that originated on the West side of Mt. Rubidoux. Miller was a staunch supporter of prohibition and spoke publicly of the temperance movement, so this bit of Riverside history is controversial. Legend tells that the cave was carved into and through the mountain and ran underground (beneath present day Mission Inn Avenue) all the way to the catacombs under the Mission Inn. The liquor was then secretly ferried to one or more speakeasies around the city using an even more elaborate network of tunnels. The site of the original cave, as well as the validity of the story, is unconfirmed. Have fun searching for possible entrances of that tunnel and cave system around the Carlson Dog Park and along the Santa Ana River Trail.
As always, please stay on marked trails and avoid "pirated" paths in the park. Enjoy!
There is free parking and restrooms at Ryan Bonamio Park. 5000 Tequesquite Ave Riverside, CA 92506. There is also parking in the neighboring areas, but most are by residential permit only.
From the Orange County area:
Take the 91E to Riverside.
Take the University Ave exit.
Turn left onto University Ave.
Turn left onto Redwood Dr (roundabout).
Turn right onto Tequesquite Ave.
From the Los Angeles Area:
Take CA-60 E to Riverside.
Take the Rubidoux Blvd exit.
Turn right onto Rubidoux Blvd.
Turn left onto Mission Blvd.
Turn right onto Redwood Dr.
Continue straight through roundabout.
Turn right onto Tequesquite Ave.
- Proper layers of clothing for Desert environment (cold in Winter, can be very hot during the Summer months)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running
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ReviewsLeave a Review
This is a great hike to do if you don't have all day to get in those steps. Nice incline and a few spots when you can go a little off trail and take in the scenery. It's all paved and well maintained with some great history at the top! Just remember to bring a decent amount of water if you're going on a warm day.
Short But Amazing
This hike is on a mountain in the middle of downtown Riverside and is a great way to get away from the city. It's pretty easy since it's paved, and it only took me about 30 minutes to get to the top. There are many people on it, but don't worry, there's plenty of room at the top to spread out. There are 360 degree views of Riverside and the surrounding suburbs, and it's a great place to hang out. I would definitely recommend this hike.
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