Monday, December 2, 2013
Hike 2013.054 -- Oak Glen Preserve (Wildlands Conservancy), Riley's at Los Rios Rancho, Oak Glen (Yucaipa), CA
The Wildlands Conservan-cy has built several new trails in the area. It's now easy to assemble a hike of 4-5 miles or more without needing to retrace significant parts of your walk.
Riley's at Los Rios Rancho, which is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen (Yucaipa), CA 92399. From the West take the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) east. Approximately five miles after passing the CA-210 interchange, exit on Yucaipa Blvd and head east (left). There are numerous restaurants along the next few miles of road, if you decide you're too hungry to continue.
After about 2 1/2 miles on Yucaipa Blvd, turn left on Oak Glen Road. Drive approx-imately 9 miles on Oak Glan, and look for Rileys at Los Rios Rancho, which will be on your right. The trailhead will be at the right end of the paved overflow parking lot that is to the right (as you enter) of the main lot.
I followed the Stream trail to its end, in a picnic area. From there, direction trail signs point out that it is .9 miles back to the trailhead from where you now stand (I assume this is taking the Stream trail, though the Boardwalk trail is probably essentially the same distance). It also tells you it's 1 mile to Preservation Point (straight at the sign), or .6 miles to return to the trailhead by continuing the loop (left at the sign). That would make a direct hike from the trailhead to Preservation Point and back as 3.8 miles. Add in the detour for the ponds and the Chaparral Loop, and that's the basis for my estimate of 4.5 miles for the day.
If I understood the Wildlands Conservancy ranger I spoke to after the fact, you need to follow this trail up to the ridge (which has several false 'summits'), then head north, to a gate. On the otherside of the gate is a sign saying the place you came from is private property (Rileys Los Rios Rancho, I assume). That would seem to suggest that the land on the other side of the gate is either owned by someone else or is public property.
In later speaking to the ranger, it seems this area next to the gate is Preservation Point.
From there, and from the trail below, you've got some pretty impressive views. Far to the southeast is Mt. San Jacinto. More towards the south or southwest is Beaumont. Beyond Beaumont is a large reservoir, which would appear to be Lake Perris, which I identified by the large island in the reservoir.
The first photo of this post also came from near the climb up towards Preservation Point. I loved the rustic-looking farm houses and the pastures, orchards, and fields to the east-northeast.
I returned the way I came, retracing most of my footsteps, except I choose to take the Boardwalk trail on the return leg.
Great day for hiking.
The Wildlands Conservancy also manages Whitewater Preserve, where I have hiked before, and several other Preserves, where I have not been. Feeling so invigorated by my hike, I splurged and donated $20 for their coffee table book of the various preserves they manage.