Bonelli By Golly!

Hiking the Bonelli Park Loop Trail

The 6.3-mile Bonelli Park Loop Trail is proof you don’t have to go far to escape the city. It’s in the heart of the metro area in San Dimas, freeway-close to a gazillion people. But the park’s nearly 2,000 acres of rolling hills give you a sense of distance from the cares of the workday as you circle 250-acre Puddingstone Lake and enjoy views of the towering San Gabriel Mountains just to the north.

You can start the loop trail almost anywhere in the park, but the South Shore Swim Beach is a great choice—it’s right near a park entrance, and there’s plenty of parking and restrooms available. The trail starts at a bridge just to the right of the parking area and leads you counterclockwise around the lake. Along the way you’ll intersect with several roads, but just keep the lake on your left, and whenever you reach a fork, stay left. The trail passes over hills covered in wild mustard and under the shade of coast live oak trees before crossing through the Puddingstone RV Park. It then follows a creek through a shaded area leading to a wash and eventually dead-ends at a picnic area—a nice place to grab a trail snack.

Gallery image 1 of 11
Gallery image 2 of 11
Gallery image 3 of 11
Gallery image 4 of 11
Gallery image 5 of 11
Gallery image 6 of 11
Gallery image 7 of 11
Gallery image 8 of 11
Gallery image 9 of 11
Gallery image 10 of 11
Gallery image 11 of 11

Continue making a counterclockwise loop, and pay attention when the trail zigs and zags back and forth across Lakeside Drive. Evening hike bonus: Lots of desert cottontails and waterfowl are out and about, plus sunset views over the lake. If you’ve worked up a sweat (hope so!), you can take a post-hike dip at the swim beach till 6 p.m.

Bonelli Regional Park is just off the 57 Freeway in San Dimas between the 10 and the 210. Exit onto Via Verde toward Raging Waters Dr. and turn left on Via Verde. Turn left into the park and follow signs for the South Shore Swim Beach. The park is open sunrise to 9 p.m. April through September and sunrise to 7 p.m. October through March. 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
    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
  3. Image that represents the story

    New Rules of the Trail

    As some parks around California begin to re-open, we came up with tips for being responsible on your outdoor adventures. Let’s do our part so we can all keep enjoying the parks.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Big Time Hike

    This is the largest grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite. We recommend this grand tour hike at 7.5 miles which includes a spectacular overlook.

    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

    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

    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
  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