Mt Rubidoux Trail and Memorial Park in Riverside, CA

For those of us that live in Riverside, CA, Mt Rubidoux is one of those great places to go out, get a workout and expeirence nature. It is the perfect hike for just about anyone as it is a short and mostly easy (paved) walk to the summit of the mountain, and it has a great view to reward you at the top. On the way there are many different Riverside historical landmarks such as the Peace Bridge, American Flag and then eventually the cross on the top. I myself have walked Mt Rubidoux many times and love the chance to get up to the summit and just take in the city.


A little history on the mountain is as follows:

“In 1906 Frank Miller, owner of the Mission Inn, along with Henry E. Huntington and Charles M. Loring, formed the Huntington Park Association and purchased the property with the intent to build a road to the summit and develop the mountain as a park to benefit the city of Riverside. Originally the park was named Huntington Park, but the name was changed to the Frank A. Miller Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park after the heirs of Frank Miller donated the property to the city in 1955. On December 13, 1925 the Testimonial Peace Tower, devoted to peace, was dedicated to Miller. The bridge is a replica of a noted bridge in Alcántara, Spain. Initial improvements, including the road, were completed in February 1907. The first memorial marker on the mountain, the cross and tablet at the summit honoring Father Junipero Serra, was dedicated on April 26, 1907.”

Source: The Old Franciscan Missions Of California by George Wharton James via Project Gutenberg

The above picture is one of my favorites as it shows how much history this mountain has invested in it. The Easter Sunrise service is the longest running outdoor one in the United States and I have been a few times, it is always a really beautiful way to celebrate Easter.

Where to Park

The best thing about Mt Rubidoux is that there are many different trails up the mountain. No matter which way you approach it, there is sure to be a path. That being said you need to pay careful attention to parking when you are at the mountain. Recent laws in the city have set up specific parking areas and sides of the street that are resident parking only so make sure to carefully read the signs when looking for somewhere to park.

Since they have now completed the Ryan Bonaminio park I believe that is the best place to park for the mountain. The address for this park is 5000 Tequesquite Ave, Riverside, CA 92506 and it has a lot of parking spaces. It has easy access to the mountain here, as you just head up the street about a quarter mile from the parking lot and you will reach the start of the trail. Always remember to read the signs though as it can change without warning.

The Trail

The trail itself if really easy to find as it is a paved road all the way up, there are a couple of them so you have to choose which length you are in the mood for. There is a long way that is around two miles, a shorter way that is around one mile and a backside way that is less then a mile but pretty much straight up the whole time. If it is your first time I would suggest taking the long way as you will get to take in all the sites and see the famous Peace Bridge that was mentioned above. It is a beautiful hike that takes you around many different plants and flowers, huge boulders that you can climb and even the historical markers on the mountain. Plan for about an hour to an hour and a half to complete the less then 3 miles as you will want to spend some time up on the summit.

The Peace Bridge

The Peace Bridge was built in 1925 by the city of Riverside to commemorate the work that was done by Frank Miller and his family while they were away on travel. It was dedicated when they returned and a plaque was created that said:

“Peace with Justice for all men. Anno Domini 1925. This bridge
was built by neighbors and friends of Frank Augustus Miller in
recognition of his constant labor in the promotion of civic beauty, 
community righteousness and world peace.” *

It is a beautiful bridge that adds to the uniqueness of this trail. Great for photo shoots or to just admire while making your way to the top.

The Summit

On the summit of Mt Rubidoux you will find many different sites to explore. I have never been up there when there was not at least 10 to 15 other people hanging out on top. The cross itself that is the highlight of the mountain and is so big it can be seen from the freeway, it alone is worth checking out and climbing up to. As is the bridge that is near the summit and the steps to the flag.

This is an especially beautiful area to watch the sunset at as you can get a great view if it is clear. To head down from the mountain, simply go back the way that you came.

Easter Sunrise Service

The Easter Sunrise Service is the longest running in the United States at over a century long. Every year people make the walk to the top in the dark to watch the sunrise over the city and hear a message. I have done it multiple times and always enjoy it. Here is a video I made from 2016.

If you are doing this, plan to leave at least 30 minutes prior to sunrise (usually 6AM) so that you have a chance to make it up the mountain and grab a spot. People get their much earlier though to get the best spots. It lasts about an hour and you can read more about it here.

This mountain is a great experience for both the first time hiker and anyone looking to show a friend a great local spot in the Inland Empire. I have done it many times and I can honestly say each time I see something I haven’t before. Make sure you take the time to head up Mt Rubidoux if you are near the area, as it will be something you will likely love and want to do again.

If you have been up there or have additional information on the mountain make sure to leave it in the comments and get directions below.

*Information taken from the Mission Inn Website

Center map

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  • Do you know, is the hiking trail open tomorrow, the 4th?

    • Dan, I would think it would be open on 4th of July but I am not sure, they have a huge firework show from the mountain at night so I would assume it is closed by dusk but it maybe open during the day, sorry I don’t have a better response for you!

  • Linda Gort

    Great pictures and the historical info is fascinating. Thanks Rob for reminding us of some of the wonders of Riverside.

    • No problem, thanks for the comment!

  • Pablo

    Do you know if we can ride up the trail to the top on bicycle?

    Very nice pictures.


  • Jean

    Lovely photo summary of the beautiful Mt. Rubidoux. As you might have heard, there’s a Washington DC group, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and representing a local resident in Riverside, that recently (August 28, 2012) presented a letter to the Riverside City Council threatening a lawsuit if they don’t remove the cross at the top of Mt. Rubidoux. The group cites the No Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. The council is considering selling a portion of land that sits under the cross through a sealed bid offer, that way there is no preferential treatment given to any one bidder. As of last night’s city council meeting, which was attended by over 200 Riverside residents most of whom were in favor of keeping the cross on top of Mt. Rubidoux, the council has voted to postpone the sale in order to allow the public to understand the legal issues and pursue alternatives to keeping the cross without going through a costly lawsuit.

    • Thanks for the update, will be interested to hear what happens

  • Great page and nice seeing photos of my hometown…refreshing through someone else’s eyes, too! Heading up in the morning for a hike and looking forward to retracing the many running steps I took on that mountain preparing for the police academy 🙂 Josh…just out of curiosity…are you any relation to Mike McNair from Rvsd?

    • Thanks for the comment, no I am not aware of a relation to Mike Mcnair

  • heather

    Hi! I really wanted to do a photoshoot up at the peace bridge tomorrow but can not find any information on whether or not you can actually drive to it? can you ONLY walk up the mountain to see it? please help! 🙁

    • Heather, yes you would need to walk up to the bridge, you cannot drive.

  • This is a great post

  • Thanks Josh, well done and really helps me on my next visit.

    • No problem! Hope you enjoy it, it is my favorite local hike

  • Have hiked this many times. Love the old history pic you have of it.

    • Thanks! Ya I hike it a lot as well, love being able to sit on the top under the cross!

  • Billy Lundig

    Have been up there many times used to go in 1965 with brothers and sisters we were 12 and under.Even went up the straight trail on the back. Used to be able to drive up until 1991. Very nice pictures.

    • That is awesome! I wasn’t aware that you could still drive up it in 91, thanks for sharing that!

  • Candace Agnew

    This is one of my regular hiking spots during the week. I never tire of meandering up the different trails to the top and the top is always such a pleasure to reach with the cross. You can climb all over the rocks up there and relax, enjoy the view. I’ve even done some rope climbing with my son-in-law with the vision to getting better at that and rappelling. Now they have made a parking lot at the bottom so there’s never a lack of parking places.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I have climbed it so many times but it is always great and the views at the top are beautiful at sunset! Heck I even did it yesterday!

      • Candace Agnew

        Dang, Josh!!! You should let me know when your gonna do it. I could hook with you. I usually do it during the fall when it starts getting cooler in the evenings and start up around 6/6:15sh. Gotta take a flashlite though as your usually going down in the dark. Which trail up do you take? Right or steeper left?

        • Yea that would be awesome! I usually always do the steeper trail

  • Don Hunter

    Thanks for the fine photos and info. The whole Mt. is covered in boulders. The ‘hard men’ of rock climbing in So. Cal. in the 60’s and to the present, repeatedly walked a circuit of extremely difficult, unroped but short, ‘Boulder Problems’. A few were as difficult as anything in the United States. You could see north to Mt. Baldy, Mt. Ontario and Mt. Cucamonga and breathe un-polluted air. I recall up 4-5 afternoons per week starting in 1968 that I distinguished myself as a ‘limp man’ of bouldering . It still goes on. Step off the trail where you see the ‘dirtbag climbers’ and watch the amazing gymnastics. Thanks again. No really, thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment, sounds like you probably have some awesome stories from the area!

      • Kelly Taylor-Aoki

        Really enjoyed your site! Do you know how tall each step is? I remember them as “giant” when I was little. Thanks

        • I am not sure how tall they are, but yes they are pretty giant, even as an adult!

  • Helen

    Love Mt. Rubidoux. My youngest son has made hiking there a tradition for Mothers Day. Were going now on 3 years. We have great family memories there every trip.
    From The Orona from Jurupa Valley, Riverside, CA

    • Thanks for the comment and picture! I am sure it is great to have a tradition like that!

  • Larry

    This hike looks great! How suitable is this trail for a small child in a stroller?

    • Ya this is a great hike for a child in a stroller, it is paved the entire way. Be ready for pushing uphill though.

  • Lily

    I have been to Mt Rubidoux trail, I love it! every time I work out; I feel the peace with me till the top. My first time going there was June 25th now when I want to go for a run I always head up to the trails. my favorite place to enjoy nature.

  • Jeni Doerr

    is mt rubidoux closed to climbers on the weekends? one site said its closed weekend and i was like what?!?!? im from east san diego and wanted to boulder here last weekend but i didnt wanna drive the 2+ hrs and get here and see that they were closed. any info from a person not a website would be much appreciated 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment. I have never heard of it being closed, unless there was like a special even like 4th of July for fireworks. I have hiked on it on the weekends and the weekdays without any issues so I am not sure why it would say closed.

      • Jeni Doerr

        see thats why i wanted to go by what a person, not a website says. thank u so much. is parking as bad as the website/yelp reviews says it is too or should i just STOP checking web pages? haha

        • Parking used to be horrible but now you can park at Ryan Bonaminio Park, 5000 Tequesquite Ave, Riverside, CA 92506. Which has a big parking lot.

          • Jeni Doerr

            Again, super helpful, thank u so much Josh!

          • No problem, have fun!

  • Reading Whisperer

    Thanks for this. Can I take my dogs? Emma

    • Yes, this is a dog friendly trail

  • victoriamorrell

    Great article–thanks for sharing! I have never been there, but my son has hiked up there once with his Boy Scout troop, and he asked me to hike it with him this coming weekend. I’m going to give it a try, so I really appreciate all of the info about the various ways up the mountain, as well as the parking information! 🙂

    • No problem, have fun! Great views at the top!

  • Olga Lidia Aran

    a what time do they closed?

    • The park is generally open sunrise to sunset

  • Cheryl Rains

    You know where the chains along Mount Rubidoux came from?

    • Thanks for the comment, unfortunately I am not sure where the chains came from though

  • Keiandra Barbata

    Do you know if it is going on this easter 2017?