The Madrugada Trail is a paved asphalt walking path located in Chino Hills on the north side of Grand Avenue. The trail is one mile long (2 miles round trip) and runs from Madrugada Drive near Canyon Hills Junior High School to the Payne Ranch Center, just west of Peyton Drive.
Finding a place to park near the Madrugada Drive Trailhead may be a challenge. So you may prefer to park at the Payne Ranch Center on Grand Avenue & Peyton Drive instead and walk from east to west. Fortunately, the City installed a signalized pedestrian crossing on Grand Avenue that leads from Payne Ranch Center to the trail. The added benefit of starting on the east side is that you get the uphill section out of the way first.
Madrugada Trail East Entrance at Payne Ranch Center
Distance: 2 miles
Duration: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 260 feet
Most hikers don’t like paved trails. We prefer dirt trails. Preferably single track. But the Madrugada Trail is a walking path. And even though the trail consists of paved asphalt, it’s still a pleasant walk with a few uphill sections. Picturesque trees line parts of the trail. And the grounds on both sides of the trail are well maintained.
Shady section of the Madrugada Trail
The trail also features a bench and water fountain along the way and one street crossing at Calle San Marcos. Because it is located close to a major street, you will hear the sounds of traffic during the walk. However, there is a gully with heavy tree growth next to the trail between Calle San Marcos and Madrugada Drive that gives a semblance of wilderness.
Wilderness gully along the Madrugada Trail
Done from east to west, the trail has a slight incline at the beginning, and a fairly steep hill as you approach Madrugada Drive. If you start the walk from the official Madrugada Drive Trailhead, you’ll walk downhill most of the way. But then you’ll have to walk uphill to get back to you starting point. I prefer to get the uphill section out of the way first. Either way, it’s a nice location for a pleasant walk in the middle of town. Happy trails. Cheers!