Hikes in Riverside County

Below is a collection of trails in Riverside County, California. These hikes are listed roughly from north to south and west to east, but the table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, directions, and all other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes. You can also view hikes around Riverside County on the Hike Finder Map.

Highlights of Riverside County

  • This non-nonsense 13.2-mile round trip hike ascends 4,500 feet to one of Southern California's most panoramic summits.
  • This 6-mile round trip hike crosses a saddle to a 5,790-foot summit with views of the mountains around San Jacinto Peak near Idyllwild.
  • This gradual 5.2-mile round trip hike near Idyllwild crosses quiet forests with rugged mountain views.
  • This 1/3-mile round trip hike visits a refreshing waterfall, cascade, and swimming hole off Ortega Highway in the Santa Ana Mountains.
  • This 1.35 to 1.55-mile loop examines common plants in the Santa Ana Mountains, along with uncommon views views across the mountain range, passing an old mine for more fun.
  • This 3 1/3-mile round trip hike follows an old road to an old campground with views over San Mateo Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Hiking Riverside County

Riverside County covers over 7,000 square miles, stretching east from Orange County all the way to the California border with Arizona. The Santa Ana Mountains form a natural border with Orange County on the west side of Riverside County. San Jacinto Peak is the highest point in the county, the 10,834-foot peak of the San Jacinto Mountains. The eastern half of the county is desert and includes Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and Joshua Tree National Park. As a housekeeping note, the trails in Joshua Tree are not listed in the Southern California section of hikespeak.com and can be found with the other hikes in the California Desert.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Whitewater Preserve230Canyon View Loop Trail
This loop in Whitewater Preserve crosses Whitewater River and incorporates a section of the Pacific Crest Trail to deliver big views up and down Whitewater Canyon.
3.75 miles
650 feet
33.989183,
-116.656132
Indian Mountain Trail250Indian Mountain
This out and back hike crosses a saddle to a 5,790-foot summit with views of the mountains around San Jacinto Peak near Idyllwild.
6 miles
815 feet
33.797213,
-116.7777
San Jacinto Peak via Mountain Trail260San Jacinto Peak via Marion Mountain Trail
This non-nonsense out and back hike ascends to one of Southern California's most panoramic summits.
13.2 miles
4500 feet
33.79117,
-116.735386
Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail270Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail
This gradual out and back hike near Idyllwild crosses quiet forests with rugged mountain views.
5.2 miles
675 feet
33.764735,
-116.687213
El Cariso Nature Trail3900El Cariso Nature Trail
This loop examines common plants in the Santa Ana Mountains, along with uncommon views views across the mountain range, passing an old mine for more fun.
1.35 - 1.55 miles
125 feet
33.650867,
-117.413113
Ortega Falls4000Ortega Falls
This hike visits a refreshing waterfall, cascade, and swimming hole off Ortega Highway in the Santa Ana Mountains.
0.33 miles
50 feet
33.625765,
-117.426339
Fisherman's Camp6000Fisherman's Camp
This hike follows an old road to an old campground with views over San Mateo Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains.
3.33 miles
400 feet
33.532281,
-117.393036

View Orange County Hikes in a larger map
hikespeak
Monserate Mountain Preserve Hike Fallbrook Monserate Mountain Summit Trail Monserate Mountain Loop Trail San Diego County
Monserate Mountain offers a workout of a hike, beginning just off Interstate 15 in the Northern San Diego County city of Fallbrook, just ten miles south of Temecula in Riverside County. There is 1,200 vertical feet between the trailhead at the base of Monserate Mountain and the panoramic summit at the top, tackled on a 1 2/3-mile ascent. You can turn around at the top... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 21, 2014
Canyon View Loop Trail Whitewater Preserve Pacific Crest Trail San Bernardino Mountains Palm Springs hike
You would not expect to find a Whitewater River in the vicinity of Palm Springs, but this surprising river is vital for the fertility of the Coachella Valley, bringing wonderful water from the San Bernardino Mountains to the desert below where it empties into the Salton Sea. Journeyman hikers can pass through Whitewater Preserve on the Pacific Crest Trail and day hikers... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 19, 2014
Weir Canyon Trail Loop Weir Canyon Wilderness Park Orange County hike Santiago Oaks Regional Park Anaheim Hills
Where can you go for a loop hike in a wilderness area in Orange County? Why, Weir Canyon of course. Weir Canyon Trail provides a 3.8-mile loop over undulating terrain on the side of Weir Canyon in the Anaheim Hills below the Santa Ana Mountains. There is 350 feet of elevation between the high and low points of the loop, but all the ups and downs along the trail make it... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 23, 2014
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve hike West Bluff Trail Newport Beach Orange County Park
Newport Bay is a vital stopover for birds migrating across Southern California. Hikers can explore the estuary too, on trails in Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, a 142-acre coastal habitat managed by the Orange County Parks Department. The preserve's West Bluff has a few trails (some open to equestrians and bikers) that provide easy hikes of a mile or more, including... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 23, 2014
El Cariso Campground Cleveland National Forest Santa Ana Mountains Riverside County Ortega Highway Main Divide tent camping Southern California
El Cariso Campground is a 24-site campground in the Santa Ana Mountains near the intersection of Ortega Highway (Route 74) and Main Divide Road on the border between Orange County and Riverside County. At 2,600 feet above sea level, the campground straddles a scenic mountain pass and can be reached easily from Lake Elsinore to the east or San Juan Capistrano to the west.... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 24, 2014