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MT. RUBIDOUX IS A LARGE HILL that ascends 500 feet above the City of Riverside, California.
By the way, I was always wondering what the difference was between a “hill” and a “mountain”. Most sources say that a mountain has a minimum elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level. Mount Rubidoux is 1,337 feet above sea level and 500 feet from its base to the summit.
Well, Mount Rubidoux might technically be a hill, but upon first sight I thought it was a mountain!
3.5 Miles of Trails
The great thing about Mount Rubidoux is that you have lots of hiking trails in addition to the paved asphalt road that takes you to the summit. The city doesn’t allow automobiles on these roads, so it’s actually perfect for walkers, joggers, runners, bicyclists, and parents pushing strollers.
Mount Rubidoux is a hill within the city of Riverside, California, United States, that has been designated a city park and landmark.
The hill was once a popular Southern California tourist destination and is still the site of the oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States.
Many historic markers and memorials have been placed on the hill, the most prominent being the cross at the summit dedicated to Father Junípero Serra.
Asphalt Road to the Summit
The asphalt road is a gentle sloping incline, so it’s perfect for most anyone, and I notice even little kids can easily walk to the summit.
The hill was named for Louis Rubidoux, who established Rancho Rubidoux in 1847, after purchasing a portion of the Rancho Jurupa from Benjamin Davis Wilson, the second elected mayor of Los Angeles.
A Hiker’s Paradise
As a hiker, Mount Rubidoux is a hiker’s paradise, so to speak. There are dozens of hiking trails that lead upward, and this is also the perfect place for bouldering and beginning rock climbing! I like to bring my hiking gear and train.
And the great thing is that you don’t have to drive long distances to get to a hiking trail. You’ve got hiking trails within the city!
What I really like is the attention to the hiking trails, which have been reinforced by wood and stone, making it a lot easier to climb. Some hiking trails are easy, while some can be difficult and the trail takes you around and between boulders, giving you the option to do some rock climbing.
The hiking trails are well marked and have definitely been frequently used.
There is wildlife on Mount Rubidoux. I haven’t seen any signs warning of rattlesnakes, but we did see a garter snake that scurried across the asphalt road, scaring a couple of young ladies. And, I thought I spotted a small coyote or a large rabbit.
A Cross, A Flag, A Bridge
At the top there is a white cross, and opposite that is a large American flag. Also near the summit are the World Peace Bridge and Testimonial Peace Tower.
In April 1909, Jacob Riis of New York, a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, was in town to give an address at the Mission Inn. He suggested holding an Easter sunrise service at the top of the mountain, and on the following Sunday the first non-denominational outdoor Easter Sunrise Service in the United States was held at the top of the mount.
From the summit you can see panoramic views of Downtown Riverside, the University of California, Riverside and the Box Springs mountain range off in the distance.
Many Shaded Areas
I’ve been hiking up here in the morning, midday and late afternoon and early evening. And, I must say that the temperatures get hot up here! But, there are trees for shade and huge boulders to also protect one from the sun and the heat.
Now that I have discovered this great hiking place, I’ll definitely be coming back often to hike and explore, and this will be a good place to train and practice for the bigger peaks I plan to climb in the near future.
This is a place I highly recommend!