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Chasing Waterfalls

909 Magazine

Whether you’re an avid hiker interested in a challenge, or someone just looking to disconnect and get in touch with nature; the Inland Empire is home to beautiful trails that offer scenic views and varying levels of difficulty. Hiking has become an incredibly popular workout, being that it allows for people to change up their routines and burn a ton of calories while enjoying the great outdoors. With the Spring season right around the corner, lacing up some tennis shoes and hitting the trails should be on every Inland Empire native’s to-do list.

There are a ton of great trails to decide between, and it may be difficult choosing the best fit for you. If you’re a novice hiker and want to start with something that’s quick and less strenuous, you may want to look into short trails like San Antonio Falls, Big Falls or the ever-popular Mt. Rubidoux Trail. Both San Antonio Falls and Big Falls, as you may have already guessed, lead to a great waterfall that make for ideal resting areas to snap photos and prepare for the descent back to your car. The Mt. Rubidoux Trail, located in Riverside is two miles long when taking the most demanding route and is less than a mile if the short way sounds more appealing. Rubidoux is highlighted by a large cross that sits atop the mountain at the end of your hike, as well as smaller beauties on the trip up like the aptly named “Peace Bridge.”

If you’re more into hikes that will push your limits and increase your heart rate, there are plenty of Inland Empire trail options that will suffice. The Mt. Baldy Notch Trail is a strenuous 9.5 mile hike that is only recommended to those with lots of experience and stamina, with the best times to climb being from March to November. There is also the San Bernardino Peak for those who really want to go the distance; an intense 15 miles will have you breaking a sweat quickly due to the high-elevation and steepness of the trail. Luckily, this trail is shaded by pine forest and the scenery is beautiful for your entire hiking trip. If you want to experience a more complex hike, but don’t want to take on the mileage that the previous hikes I’ve stated will give you; Claremont Hills Park trail is a steady 5 miles on a nice fire road. Equipped with benches at the peak for relaxation and amazing views. Shady trees will guide you to the top. This trail is ideal for those who already love hiking but are still not at an expert level.

It has been pretty apparent that the Inland Empire, and California in general have been experiencing a serious drought. Even with a Californian’s inevitable love for the sun and the fun-filled days it accompanies; the lack of rain we’ve experienced has had a negative impact. Luckily, the Inland Empire has been experiencing strong rain showers as of late. This intense rainfall has provided us with something to look forward to. Hiking will be a must-do this Spring! Heavy rain should be every trail- seekers prayer knowing that when it’s time for the sun to shine through, Mother Nature will have made your hiking experience even more incredible.

After this guide of why you and everyone you love should be hiking; I genuinely hope that you take the time to get outside and get moving up those trails. Remember to be prepared with your hiking necessities; water bottle, proper shoes, sun protection, cash for parking, extra food, and so on. There is a trail suited for everyone, and hiking is truly an activity that is good for your mind, body and soul. Get out into the fresh air and take in this amazing world that we live in. We anticipate seeing you at the top!