This is a short and rather unusual hike of Mount Jurupa of the Jurupa Hills near Fontana and Riverside.
As I rounded out an excellent weekend in the Inland Empire, I started making my way back to civilization. I climbed Anderson Peak and then the more pedestrian Zanja Peak. I decided on one more peak before heading back up North. For whatever reason, a hike up Mount Jurupa seemed intriguing.
Mount Jurupa Hike Overview
Mount Jurupa stands at 2,224', almost exactly 1,000 feet above Fontana and Jurupa Valley. Its a modest summit by all measures but a steep hike. My stats were the following
- Total Distance: 3.0 miles
- Total Time: 1.5 hours
- Elevation Gain: 1,150'
- Elevation Loss: Negligible
- Low Elevation: Parking lot, 1,090'
- High Elevation: Zanja Peak, 2,224'
The "trailhead" is Martin Tudor Jurupa Hills Regional Park. To my knowledge, there's no access restrictions during the day. There's ample parking at the trailhead. Here's a map:
To Mount Jurupa's Summit
From the far North end of the parking area, I found a paved trail that connected with the main Jurupa Hills North Trail. Both were unmarked. However, it was easy to find the main route up to the summit.
The trail is very steep and unshaded most of the way. As I gained altitude, I stopped from time to time to catch my breath and admire some of the stranger graffiti. Unfortunately there's quite a bit of it on much of the mountain.
Mount Jurupa's trail is an informal trail. Several side trails exist and it was a little confusing at times. Of course, as long as I continued to follow the most obvious trail and made sure I was still gaining altitude, I eventually made my way to the top. There were no signs or directions along the way. However, I didn't run into any people despite its proximity to most of the Inland Empire.
I achieved Mount Jurupa's less-than-lofty summit after about 45-50 minutes of hiking. The summit is curiously pancake flat; is it natural or did somebody make it that way? There's a circuitous social trail on the summit allowing for unobstructed views of the entire Inland Empire. There's beauty here that most don't appreciate.
After 10 minutes of looking for a summit register (which doesn't exist), I began my way down. I didn't realize how close I was to the Ontario Airport so landing planes were at eye level. Not a bad place for plane watchers if that's your thing.
It took about 30 minutes of slippery descending to get back to the trailhead. Altogether, it was a nice bang for my buck; a significant summit with panoramic views that took less than 2 hours! After years of driving through the Inland Empire on the way to Joshua Tree, it was nice to hike one of the many summits I passed.