Stunning blankets of wildflowers are blooming in Chino Hills State Park, adding brilliant splashes of color to the most vividly green rolling hills in Southern California. You’ll hike amid brilliant displays of California poppies, lupines, and Canterbury bells on a 2.5-mile out-and-back trek on the Bane Ridge Trail, which climbs gently and surrounds you with thick grass accentuated with yellow flurries of nonnative wild mustard blooms.
Continue ascending the ridge and indulge in the genuine seclusion, as the peaceful knolls provide a natural enclosure from the bustling urban world. Keep an eye out for resident rattlers and gopher snakes hiding from the soaring raptors. You’ll be rewarded with patches of orange and purple on nearby slopes, but the real prize is down a half-mile spur trail on the right that leads into a mesmerizing sea of poppies and lupines.
Head back to the main path and continue just over a mile to the junction with the Pomona Trail, which takes a hard right under some power lines to the sycamore-lined canyon floor below. The hilltop just past this intersection is a good final viewpoint. On the way back, be sure to make another stop at the bloom blanket to take one last look at one of the most magical displays our bright orange state flower and its pretty purple partner have ever staged.
To get to the Horse Camp parking lot and Bane Ridge trailhead, take CA-71 to the Soquel Canyon Pkwy. exit. Go west for 1 mile and turn left onto Elinvar Dr., which veers left and becomes Sapphire Rd. The park entrance, and Bane Canyon Rd., will be on your immediate right. Take this for 2.5 miles (paying $5 at the ranger station along the way) and make a sharp right on the Horse Camp dirt road, which leads to the dirt lot. Look for the narrow singletrack trail marked at the north end of the lot. No dogs.