The Mt Rubidoux Trail is a very popular 3-mile paved asphalt walking and hiking path in Riverside, California that leads to the summit of Mt Rubidoux. Although the 1,220 feet high Mt Rubidoux is just a hill on the edge of town, it nevertheless has an iconic feel to it. Partly due to a quaint cobblestone Peace Tower and Friendship Bridge along the trail, a majestic white cross perched on the summit and superb 360-degree views from the top. Add it all up and this becomes a fine location for a leisurely hike.
Distance: 3.0 miles
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 550 feet
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Mt Rubidoux Parking
The best parking for the Mt Rubidoux trail is at Ryan Bonaminio Park located at 5000 Tequesquite Ave, in Riverside. The Ryan Bonaminio Park features a large parking lot, ball fields, and restrooms. And it is located just 0.25 mile down the street from the Mt Rubidoux trailhead.
Best parking for Mt Rubidoux is at Ryan Bonaminio Park
Navigate to the Ryan Bonaminio Park located at 5000 Tequesquite Ave, in Riverside. Once you park and use the restrooms if needed, walk up San Andreas Ave 0.3 mile to the Mt Rubidoux Trailhead marked by a Frank Miller Memorial Park sign. Please note that San Andreas Ave becomes Glenwood Drive before you get to the trailhead.
Aska and Kim gear up at the Mt Rubidoux trailhead
The Mt Rubidoux trail is a paved asphalt path that loops around the mountain in double corkscrew fashion. There is a shorter, steeper option, and a longer, more gentle option. You really have to pay attention to your route the first couple times you visit because it appears at first to be just one trail.
For this version of the hike, you will start at the Frank A. Miller Memorial Park sign. Walk uphill to the first junction, make a right, and continue upwards in a northeasterly direction. Follow the trail as it loops around to the west side of the hill.
West side of the Mt Rubidoux trail
The trail continues its gradual climb and eventually takes you to a second junction with the shorter trail. Cross under the Ben Lewis bridge and continue uphill in a southwesterly direction until you loop around yet again to the east side of the hill. You will see the Peace Tower and Friendship Bridge up ahead.
The Peace Tower and Friendship Bridge is an interesting looking, almost castle-like structure located on the trail. It makes a nice location for a photo and a short break if desired. There are stairs leading up the to Friendship Bridge.
Iconic Mt Rubidoux Peace Tower
Walk under the Peace Tower foot bridge and continue yet again around one final, tight loop to the large amphitheater type clearing between the flagpole and cross. The paved portion of the Mt Rubidoux trail ends here, but the trail to the summit continues up some large stone steps. Watch your step as you climb up on the stone path.
You will see the iconic cross on the Mt Rubidoux summit. The original cross was erected in 1907 and dedicated to Junipero Serra, founder of the California Missions. The cross is well maintained and makes a nice landmark from the distance.
Me and Keith kicking it near the Iconic Mt Rubidoux Cross
Once you’ve taken a sufficient break and grabbed your photos, you can head back down the hill. This time you will be taking the shorter steeper trail down. The shorter trail will be on your left. Just follow the trail downward and you will eventually reach the first junction near the trailhead. Walk the few steps down to the trailhead sign and conclude your hike. You will likely find yourself wanting to return.
Additional Mt Rubidoux Hike Reports
Mt Rubidoux is featured in the two well-known hiking guides listed below, right along with mountain hikes like Mt San Jacinto, Mt San Gorgonio and Mt Baldy. Mt Rubidoux is obviously not in any way comparable to those real mountain peaks, but it is nevertheless a convenient place to go for a nice walk or quick hike.
- Afoot and Afield Inland Empire: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide by David Money Harris and Jennifer Money Harris
- 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore, and Desert by Jerry Schad and David Money Harris