The Inland Empire has many choices for a fabulous day of hiking with the kids. Here are 5 very different hikes that will have your children talking about your adventures for weeks.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to Mount San Jacinto State Park
Enjoy breathtaking views and a change in climate on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The ride starts at Valley stations and travels more than 5,800 feet up to Mountain Station in the Mount San Jacinto State Park. Once you get to the top you can take a walk on the self-guided nature trail or hike on the Desert View Trail to check out the view from 10,000 feet. During the winter, the park turns into a wonderland where families can cross country ski and snowshoe.
Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve
39400 Clinton Keith Road,
Murrieta, CA 92562
There is so much to see in this section of the Santa Ana Mountains. The reserve is home to a historic cowboy bunkhouse, chaparral and vernal pools, which are lakes that have no fish and only fill up during the rainy winter months. Kids can hike through the 8,300 acres of the reserve or mountain bike in the Sylvan Meadows.
Chino Hills State Park
4721 Sapphire Road
Chino Hills, CA 91709
There are hikes for kids of all ages in Chino Hills State Park at the Bane Canyon Entrance. The Upper Aliso Canyon Trail is a fun, flat trail where kids can see a stream in the winter. Telegraph Canyon Trail is an easy hike with just a little elevation a couple of miles in. But the more adventurous hikers do the entire 16-mile Telegraph Canyon Hike and see beautiful views.
Cucamonga Wilderness’ Ice House Canyon Trail
Mt. Baldy Road and Icehouse Canyon
Lytle Creek, CA 92358
The Ice House Canyon Trail is a great hike to do on a clear, early fall day with older kids who are up for a challenge. The strenuous hiking will take you about 2,500 feet up and through the Cucamonga Wilderness. The Wilderness is maintained by the National Forest Service, which means families must get a permit to hike for the day. Call before you go, 909-982-2829.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N. College Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
The 1-mile walk around the Botanic Garden will give younger kids a little exercise while opening their minds to the beauty of native California plants. This wild display is at its best in the winter after the rainy season brings out the Manzanitas and in the spring when the California poppies and lilacs bloom.