Riverside's Wild Side

Hiking Sycamore Canyon Park Trail in Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Wilderness trails inside Riverside city limits? Amazing but true. Sycamore Canyon Park Trail is a 4.6-mile loop that winds through dramatic boulder formations and traverses 450 feet of elevation gain leading up and over a 1,645-foot hilltop that overlooks interconnected trails, rolling hills, and, yes, the city of Riverside. The trail runs through Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, a 1,424-acre nature reserve.

The 4.6-mile loop is one of the best routes to experience the park to the fullest, whether you’re on foot or astride a mountain bike. The trail takes you from the north end of the park to the south, with plenty of hilltops and valleys in between. With multiple forks and alternative routes that are all interconnected, it’s easy to make a wrong turn. Just remember that your trail runs along the east side of Sycamore Canyon. Look for hilltop benches, which are great for relaxing and taking in the view—and let you know you’re on the right track.

Gallery image 1 of 7
Gallery image 2 of 7
Gallery image 3 of 7
Gallery image 4 of 7
Gallery image 5 of 7
Gallery image 6 of 7
Gallery image 7 of 7

TIP: Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is also home to the Ameal Moore Nature Center, located at the main trailhead. They offer free field guides, citizen science projects, and family programs throughout the year. Guided nature hikes point out plant life such as Pacific asters and burr marigolds and you’ll learn about the rare animal life, including the endangered kangaroo rat.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is open daily from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. From the I-215 in Riverside, exit on Central Ave. heading west. Make a U-turn on Quail Run Rd., then turn right into the dirt parking lot. The trail begins in the parking lot. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Bouquet of Waterfalls

    Like a good love letter, some of the best hiking trails are short and sweet. Cue the hike to Bouquet Falls in Santa Clarita Valley’s Bouquet Canyon.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Easiest Best Hike in the World

    Choose the easiest and most view-rewarding hike in Yosemite. Okay, we’ll go first: the combination of hiking to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both of these lookouts are within a couple miles of each other on Glacier Point Road

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    All Roads Lead to Rogue

    Idea for your next road trip: Go Rogue! The Rogue Valley in beautiful Southern Oregon has some of the state’s best hiking, swim holes, and wineries, and the charming historic towns of Ashland, Medford, and Jacksonville.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

    View
  2. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Secret Beach

    A hidden beach and a killer view? Those are hard to come by, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Perles Beach on Angel Island. This pocket cove is worth the 1.5-mile trek to get there.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Nice Ring to It

    This tiny but mighty open space preserve on the Tiburon Peninsula can often exhibit a wide range of wildflowers late into the season, not to mention one of the most jaw-dropping views of the bay.

    View