Box Springs is one of the hidden treasures of the Inland Empire, and, no, we’re not talking about the one beneath your mattress. Box Springs Mountain Park between Moreno Valley and Riverside is home to several awesome low-traffic hiking trails just minutes from the bustle of civilization. For the best views and an awesome workout, try the Skyline Trail No. 1 and No. 2 combo, totaling 4.5 miles.
The trailhead isn’t marked and can be a little hard to find. From the parking area, head back down the road until you see a path on the left heading up the mountain. Once you find the trail, it is clear and easy to follow. As you hike along through the towering rock formations you’ll see several forks, but just keep taking the right fork to make a giant loop around the mountain. Parts of the trail can get steep, but there are also plenty of long, flat stretches that offer a break for your legs—and water breaks for your four-legged friends. Each twist and turn offers new panoramic birds-eye views of the Inland Empire that will have you stopping frequently to take advantage of photo ops.
According to local legends, Box Springs Mountain got its name in the 1880s, when workers would stop at a natural spring in an arroyo in the range to water their horses. One of the users built a box around the spring to maintain water access, and so the name was born. Be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen—shade is scarce on this trail. However, the cooler winter air makes this a perfect time of year to bring your fur children to Box Springs!
Take CA-60 to Moreno Valley, exit at Pigeon Pass Rd., and head north. Follow the road up the hill, going straight when the name changes to Box Springs Mountain Rd.; the park is on the right. Parking is $5, on the honor system (leave money in the box at the entrance to the parking lot). Dog-friendly!