Terri Peak

Trailhead17801 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!

Big Horn Mine


Trailhead: Take Hwy 2 west from Wrightwood, past Inspiration Point and the Grassy Hollow Visitors’ Center, down to the Vincent Gap Parking Lot. Once you’ve parked, you will see a trail off to the side, next to the bathrooms. 
 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 550 ft.
Difficulty: Moderate
Total time: 2-3 hours, depending on how much time you spend in the mine.
Dogs: Yes
Parking: You’ll need an adventure pass to park, so be sure to pick one up (you can find one at most sporting good stores)
If you couldn’t tell by the title, this is a hike to a mine. A MINE, y’all!

While the mine is closed off, you will still get to see (and climb) mining structures and astonishing views of the valley below.

As if hiking to a mine isn’t cool enough, there’s also a cabin that was inhabited by a Hermit named Vincent who was hiding out in the forest while he was on the lam for murdering people in Arizona.
We went on this trail in January when there was quite a bit of  snow on the ground, making the sketchy part of the trail even more sketchy.

About .25 miles into the trail, it will split off. The trail to the left goes to Vincent the Hermit’s cabin, the trail to the right is the mine. We decided to go to the mine first and then loop back around to the cabin later.

As you continue walking down the trail, you’ll notice a bit of an incline. Although we were at a higher altitude, the climb wasn’t particularly bad; however, there are parts of the trail that are a bit tough to walk on, especially when crossing some of the gulches.

Along the way, you’ll also see some mine outlets. Keep going. This is not Big Horn mine. It’s just a preview of the awesome that awaits.

Continue along the path, and about 1.5 miles in you’ll round the bend and then you will see it in all its glory!


Once you get to the mine, you’ll see some pretty interesting structures, great views, and lots of crappy graffiti.

You’ll also see that you can climb up to the entrance of the mine. Keep in mind that if you do this, you’re climbing over rusty, metal and dilapidated wood. So, you should:
a) have your tetanus shot up-to-date
b) be prepared for rotten wood that might give out while you’re walking on it and cause you to die

You’ve been warned.

If you do end up climbing on top, you’ll see the entrance to the mine that is now boarded off. Here, of course, it is also required to do the obligatory “I’m in jail” picture:


After exploring the mine for a bit, you can head back down the trail to Vincent’s Cabin. Nothin’ compliments an abandoned mine like a crazy hermit murder lair in the middle of nowhere! It’s a bit hard to find, so you probably want to have a GPS with a waypoint marked. Don’t ask me how to do that, though, because I don’t know.

The cabin really does come out of nowhere, and, being made of wood, blends in well with its surroundings. Well done, Vincent the murderer. But keep heading on the path and you’ll eventually come to it:

The cabin is open and free to wander around. One of the cool things about it is that it still has pots and pans from ol’ Vinnie’s heyday.



Once you’re done with the cabin, return the way you came without stealing anything because stealing is for losers.


San Bernardino Peak


Photo credit @michaelpowellphotography and @broloelcordero

Trailhead: 5766 Frontage Rd, Angelus Oaks, CA, 92305 
17 (ish) miles
Elevation Gain: 4650 ft.
Total Elevation: 10649
Difficulty: Strenuous
Total time: 9-10 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: There is parking in a dirt lot after a long, bumpy ride down a dirt road. You can definitely make it in a regular car, but it’s not a great idea. Also, I’ve heard conflicting reports on needing an adventure pass, so just put one up. Hiking Guy has excellent instructions on how to get there.

You can request it online to be mailed to you, stop in and get it on your way there, or, if  you’re stuck in 1996, fax your request to the station and they’ll fax a permit back. Here’s the link to the Mill Creek Ranger Station.

San Bernardino is probably my favorite of the #SocalSixPack. The trail is the most gentle of all the peaks with a very steady incline throughout and with a rather flat part in the middle when you go through the forest of Manzanita trees. The only part that was particularly steep was the very last .2 miles to the peak which is super of you, San Bernardino Peak. Go ahead and put the hardest part at the very end when I’m tired. ‘Preciate it, sir.

Some other things of note:

Ho Hum Peak
The peak’s view is rather lackluster. You’ll find the best view is on the way up at Limber Pine Bench which gives one of the most spectacular views of the Inland Empire you’ll ever see. I’ve also heard that camping at Limber Pine is an amazing experience. Many call it the best campsite in Southern California. I don’t call it that, though, because I hate camping.

Covered in Bees!
When we went in August there were a lot of bees. I mean A LOT OF BEES. Everywhere. All buzzing around, like they own the place. I hate bees. I mean, I get we need them and all but they FREAK ME OUT.

Washington Monument
Less than a mile from the peak you’ll see Washington Monument. Or, if you’re smarter than me, you’ll see it. I’ve gone twice and just passed the plaque, not realizing that there’s an actual structure off the main trail. I am not observant.

The Descent
The last two miles of the trail is a soul sucking, switch back after switch back journey with zero scenery change. I felt like I was in the movie Groundhog Day except without Bill Murray to make me laugh.

Best time to go is June – October. Otherwise you’re going to hit snow. And not like “Hey, look at that pretty snow over there” kind of snow, but “I’m so cold that I can’t feel my feelings any more” kind of snow.


Massacre Canyon

Trailhead: 19148-19562 Gilman Springs Rd, San Jacinto, CA 
Elevation Gain: Varies
Difficulty: Varies
Total time: Varies
Dogs: Yes, but probably not a great idea.
Parking: Along Gilman Hot Springs

Located off Highway 79 on Gilman Hot Springs, Massacre Canyon is a hike characterized by very high, steep sides.

It got its name during the earliest days of American settlement in the San Jacinto Valley and refers to a battle between two local tribes over an important food source. One of the tribes suffered heavy losses in the battle. 

A seasonal stream runs through the canyon and creates a 12-foot waterfall which is easily accessible through a rather short, flat trip through the riverbed (the waterfall is often dry, however. I went in May and it was dunzo).

In addition to the waterfall trail, you can take a higher trail up the wall of the canyon and over the waterfall, into the riverbed and down the valley. Please note that this trail is steep, narrow and dangerous in many spots and should not be attempted alone. 

The trail can really be as long as you’d like. I meandered along the stream (or what was left of it) and ended up in the San Jacinto preserve (I think). It was green and lovely and very scenic.

Overall, Massacre Canyon is a beautiful hike that is appropriately named because the trail that climbs the walls of the canyon is mega sketch and totes tries to massacre you at every turn. ALSO you very well may hear gun fire echoing through the canyon. I ran into a group of Deliverance-y looking guys carrying rifles and took that as my cue to too-da-loo my way right out of there. 

I think the moral of my story is to not do this trail alone. Did I mention that yet? Because you shouldn’t do it alone. SERIOUSLY. 

Sitton Peak

Trailhead: Sitton Peak Truck Trail, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Length: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200 ft.
Difficulty: Moderate
Total time: 4-5 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: Parking lot across the highway from the trailhead (and across from the candy store!)

Sitton Peak is a relatively easy hike that then tries to destroy you at the last .25 miles. At almost 10 miles total, the slope is fairly gentle for most of the climb with many stretches of flat spots to catch your breath. You will meander through nice, shaded areas filled with flora and fauna (not sure what fauna is)

Once you get to the turn off for the last quarter of a mile to the peak, however, you’re going to need to mountain goat your way up that bad boy to get to the top.

The peak offers 360 views of the area AND as a bonus, has a sign that you can take a picture next to and later caption “Standin’ on Sitton Peak, hahahahahahaha.”

Okay, now I am going to let you in on some super secret insider information: Sitton Peak is pronounced Sit-ton Peak, as we were informed by a snarky local when we asked for directions.

Pronounce it right, and no one will be able to tell you’re not a native.

You. Are. Welcome!

Skyline Drive

Trailhead: Foothill, just past Trudy in Corona
12 miles to the Doppler (a.k.a. that golf ball thingy)
Elevation Gain: 1960 ft.
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Total time: 4-5 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: Parking is free along Foothill

Skyline is a hike that you can make as long as you’d like. The Lazy Asses and I do a five mile hike every Tuesday and Thursday in the evening during the winter; however, if you have time you can make this a long day hike up to Beek’s Place and the Doppler further up.

Beek’s Place was a stone cabin built in the 1930s by a politician, Joseph Beek who used it as a vacation home. It’s now just a pile of rocks and some rusty machinery, but it feels cool and old western-y. The Doppler is a weather instrument that reminds me of Epcot Center except not as cool. The top offers really great views of the Inland Empire and Orange County. On clear days you can actually see the ocean.

HAHAHAHA “clear” days in Southern California. That’s hilarious.

Annnnyway, what’s great about Skyline is that you can take the fire road the entire way up if you’re a beginner, OR you can challenge yourself by taking a series of “short cuts” that are to the right of the trail. These short cuts are not easier. They’re quite steep and I curse myself every time I make the decision to take them, but I suppose they make me stronger and more conditioned for harder climbs or whatever, so that’s why I do them.

One thing of note about this trail is that it is EXTREMELY exposed. There are points that you feel like you’re Moses wandering the desert. Because of that, I recommend you get there very early, or do it as a sunset hike. If you decide to make the mistake of doing it during the heat of the day, wear sunscreen and a hat, because you’re going to bake like a fried egg on a side walk.

Eagle Glen And Brunch

Trailhead: 1800 Eagle Glen Parkway 
 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1400 ft.
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Total time: 2 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: Meet in the parking lot to the left of the clubhouse (free)

The last Sunday of the month, Lazy Ass Hiking hikes up the path behind the Eagle Glen Golf Course at the ungodly hour of 7:00 a.m.

This is an Intermediate/Beginner Hike. The hike is largely on a fire road; however as with all Lazy Ass hikes, there is a not so lazy ass option of taking steeper short cuts for conditioning training.

This hike can have stunning views, especially in the springtime when the hills are alive with the sound of music. Or aren’t dead, at the very least.

The best part about going with Lazy Ass Hiking is the brunch at the clubhouse at the end, because, well, BRUNCH! The food is quite good and you’ll hear many of the hikers talk about how great the coffee is. I had it and was like, “yup, it’s definitely coffee” ::shrug::

But maybe you’ll  find it as amazing as they do.

Come see for yourself.

Two Trees Trail & Edison Trail

Two Trees Trail is a moderately strenuous hike in Box Springs. Two Trees Trail is continually voted as the best sunset hike in Riverside by yours truly, and you should trust me because I occasionally I know what I am talking about.

Trailhead: 430 Two Trees Rd, Riverside, CA
3 miles (RT) OR add another 3 miles (total) by following the Edison Trail to the radio towers and heading back on the fire road
Elevation Gain: 950 ft.
Total time: Over 2 hours, depending on your hiking level
Dogs: Yes, on leash
Parking: Free at the trailhead. There is also a dirt lot at the end of Blaine that serves as overflow

This trail climbs steadily (and is at times steep) to the Two Trees Park at the top of Box Springs. It offers great views of Riverside, and on clear days, Ontario and the San Gabriel Mountain range. This hike is a great beginning conditioning hike for longer treks.

If you would like to stop here, you may turn around and head back down the trail–OR you can add some more steps to your day by taking the Edison Trail down to the radio towers and come back via the fire road. This will make the trip about 6 miles and offer another set of views.

This trail is completely exposed so I recommend doing it early morning, late afternoon, or during any season but Summer unless you’re into heat exhaustion.

There is wildlife along the trail, including rattlesnakes. You may also see mule deer, rabbits, coyotes, and birds. A sign at the beginning of the trail notes that there are cougars, so promise to do your very best not to get eaten.

As of August 2016, Lazy Ass Hiking hosts a meetup hike on Mondays, so you should check it out. Unless you’re a murderer and/or a creepo. Then please don’t check it out.