Trailhead: 17801 Lake Perris Dr, Perris, CA 92571
Length: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft.
Difficulty: Moderate (completely exposed)
Total time: 2 hours
Dogs: Yes, on leash
Parking: Parking at trail head; $5 to get into the park
Last week my dear friend Emily invited me to join the City of Perris event to climb Terri Peak at the Perris State Recreational area. I’d never hiked in that area, so I was like “a’ite, coo.”
We parked by the campsite and made our way up to the trailhead which is located to the right of the parking lot. The the trail was marked off for us and I’m glad it was, otherwise I’d still be there looking for the peak a week later. There are several trails that go in all directions. I’ve read that there are a couple of ways to get up to Terri Peak, and California Through My Lens gives the advice to just keep following the trail upward and you’ll get to the peak. Another site said to just keep going left. Both seem accurate from my recollection.
We meandered on the narrow trails that connected to one another, throughout the rolling hills and brush and probably lots of rattlesnake dens. There was a ton of brush on the trail, and I began to suspect that this group hike of 150 people was all a rouse for the City of Perris to get us to trample down the trail to clear the path. Very clever, City of Perris. Very clever, indeed.
Eventually we got to a fire road for the final push to the top. We were greeted with 360 degree view of the IE.
After a few moments, we headed back down the way we came. As I mentioned, there are several different ways to do this hike. Summitpost.org has a map that shows it as a loop.
Some notes on this hike:
It’s incredibly exposed (like 90% of IE hikes) so, y’know, don’t do this one at noon, or in July. And ESPECIALLY do it at noon in July.
I’d suggest doing this in Winter/Spring. We went when it already had that scorched earth look (again, like 90% of IE hikes), but from what I’ve seen from people who have submitted to @hikeinlandempire, it’s green and covered in wild flowers in Feb-April.
Finally, don’t let the elevation gain fool you. Fairly conditioned hikers are looking at this going “Pfft, 1000 feet over 5 miles, duuuuuuumb.”
This hike is mild at the beginning with rolling hills and elevation at the end. It might seem easy at first but soon you’ll be going “Wait, what just happened? Climbing all of a sudden! So hot! Such exposure! Why didn’t I listen to HikeInlandEmpire’s advice not to to this at noon in July?!?”
Finally, I’m learning more and more that cities have programs to get you out in nature to enjoy the trails. Here is an Article on the City of Perris Hikes you can take a look at. As far as I know, this was the last one for this series this year, but hopefully they’ll do more soon. In the meantime, here is a map with several trailheads from Moreno Valley (including a 7.6 mile route to Terri Peak), and here is a guide from the City of Riverside about city sponsored outside activities.
Thanks to the City of Perris for hosting us!