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11 Best Running and Hiking Trails near Moreno Valley, CA

Moreno Valley is situated on the edge of a few wilderness areas. It also has smaller parks for quick nature gateways. Check out the options.

Moreno Valley is an urban place, but there are plenty of trails around. You just need to know where to look.

It doesn’t matter if you are into hiking, running, or just looking for some peace and quiet, there is an option for you. Check them out!

Trails near Moreno Valley:

  1. The M Trail
  2. Mount Rubidoux Trail
  3. Sycamore Canyon Park Trail
  4. Terri Peak Trail
  5. Lake Perris Loop Trail
  6. Bogart Park Ridge Trail
  7. Oakmont Trail Loop
  8. Wildwood Canyon Loop
  9. Dripping Spring Campground Trail
  10. Black Mountain Trail
  11. San Jacinto Peak from Marion Mountain

1. The M Trail

M Trail
Photo: Philipp Beckers / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Check out the famous letter “M” on Box Spring Mountain
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,232 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1h 30 min
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Parking Lot on Hidden Springs Drive
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 4 miles (10 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

The famous letter “M” is 150 feet tall and 150 feet wide. It is visible from anywhere in Moreno Valley, and long became a symbol of the city.

The M Trail will take you up close to this landmark, but it’s not going to be easy. 1,200 feet in 1.5 miles is a challenging incline. 

Consider bringing hiking sticks if you use them and take it easy on the downhill.

Also, the area is very exposed so if you are visiting in summer bring plenty of water. Most newcomers underestimate this hike. 

2. Mount Rubidoux Trail

Mt Rubidoux
Photo: Ron Reiring / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Sweeping views over the valley and historical landmarks.
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 393 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1h 30min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Ryan Bonaminio Park
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 13 miles (20 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Mount Rubidoux is a popular paved trail in Riverside that leads to a 1,331 feet peak. It is short and easy but uphill; most people complete it in an hour and a half.

The hike features a few notable landmarks. One of them is a prominent cross on the summit, which commemorates Father Junípero Serra.

Another is The World Peace Bridge, dedicated to Frank Miller, who owned the property and was a peace advocate.

From the summit, the views a truly impressive. You can see far over the valley with mountains rising in the distance.

If you plan your hike well, you can catch a glimpse of sunrise or sunset; this is when the views are at their best.

3. Sycamore Canyon Park Trail

Sycamore Park Riverside
Photo: Matthew Mendoza / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Nature gateway on the edge of the Moreno Valley. Perfect for running or an active lunch break.
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 3.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 606 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Sycamore Wilderness Parking Lot on Central Ave
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 3 miles (5 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Sycamore Canyon Trail is just one out of dozens of trails in the park. You can make your walk here as long or as short as you like.

Because of the park’s proximity to urban areas, it is the perfect place for an active lunch, a run, or an evening stroll.

At the same time, Sycamore Canyon Park is large enough to spend a whole day here.

Although the park is not as scenic or tranquil as other locations on the list, it is a breath of fresh air in the middle of the urban jungle, and without it, Moreno Valley wouldn’t be the same.

4. Terri Peak Trail

  • Highlight: Panoramic views of Perris Reservoir from Terri Peak.
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 3.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 811 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1h 30min
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Terri Peak Trailhead on Alta Calle
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 8 miles (15 min)
  • Dog Friendly: No

Terri Peak Trail is a hilly but short hike, perfect for a half-day adventure or an evening workout. It is also the nearest hiking opportunity to Moreno Valley.

Terri Peak is only 2,569 feet high, but the vistas from the top are fantastic. You get to experience the full 360-degrees panorama, including the stunning Perris Reservoir.  

The best time to attempt the trail is either at sunset or sunrise. The crimson sky always enhances the landscape and adds a romantic note.

Also, don’t forget about the heat. It can be brutally hot if you are attempting the hike in the afternoon. Bring plenty of water.

You can also incorporate this trail in a loop that runs around the peak if you have time. Here is the best guide on this.

5. Lake Perris Loop Trail

Lake Perris
Photo: Doc Searls / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Paved dog-friendly trail with views of the lake.
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 9.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 400 feet
  • Time to Complete: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: At Lake Perris HQ on Via Del Lago
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 8 miles (15 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes (on paved trails)
  • Entrance Fee: $10 (includes one car with up to 9 people)

Lake Perris Trail loops around the reservoir and takes about 4 hours to complete. It is 99% paved and practically flat. 

The route is popular with cyclists, dog walkers, runners, and hikers, so it is rather busy on weekends.

Although the trail is by the lake, it gets boiling here. With very little shade and pipping hot tarmac, afternoon summer walks can be brutal. So bring plenty of water and a headcover (an umbrella will do the job).

The most remarkable thing about this trail is that you can stop and cool down by the lake at any time. Dipping your toes or going for a quick swim will boost your energy.

6. Bogart Park Ridge Trail

Bogart Park
Photo: Raymond Shobe / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Beautiful sweeping views of the area and a challenging ascent.
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,380 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2 h 30 min
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Parking: Inside Bogart Park – International Park Road
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 20 miles (30 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Entrance Fee: $10 or FREE if parking outside the Bogart Park

Bogart Ridge Park Trail is a reasonably short but challenging route near Beaumont. 

If you fancy a physical challenge or preparing for more strenuous hikes, this trail is exactly what you need.

However, if you are looking for a leisurely walk in the park, skip this one. Inexperienced hikers find this route very hard because of the steep ascent at the very beginning of the trail.

Apart from that, Bogart Park is a fantastic place. It offers a touch of wilderness in the otherwise urban area that you can use as an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle.

7. Oakmont Trail Loop

  • Highlight: Quiet, dog-friendly area. Perfect for running.
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 380 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Oakmont Park Entrance of South Lane
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 15 miles (26 min)
  • Dog Friendly:  Yes

Oakmont Trail Loop starts in Oakmont Park at Redlands. It is a short hike with very little elevation change, perfect for running or an evening stroll.

The park is relatively unknown, so it doesn’t get busy here. 

There are plenty of benches and picnic tables for pitstops so you can have your lunch in the open air.

Also, Oakmont Park has other trails, so you can easily extend the original loop and spend more time here.

8. Wildwood Canyon Loop

Wildwood Canyon
Photo: Barry Mulling / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Beautiful, serene hike not far from the civilization.
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 4.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 820 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2.5 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Wildwood Canyon State Park – Canyon Drive
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 25 miles (30 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Wildwood Canyon Trail is a peaceful hike not far from Yucaipa. 

It is only 4.2 miles long and takes about two hours to complete. But Wildwood Canyon State Park has more trails to offer, so you can easily extend your walk.

The area is also popular with mountain bikers and horse riders. So if you enjoy either of these, you should try this park.

9. Dripping Spring Campground Trail

  • Highlight: Tranquil wilderness for peace and solitude
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 13 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,063 feet
  • Time to Complete: 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Dipping Springs Campground (State Route 79)
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 50 miles (1h)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Dipping Spring Campground Trail is one of the finest hikes in the Agua Tibia Wilderness. 

It is not far from the civilization, Temecula is only 10 miles away, but it has a very serene atmosphere.

Because it’s an out and back trail, you can make this hike as long or as short as you wish. 

In the beginning, the trail is well-trodden and easy to follow. But as you get further and further out, it becomes overgrown as many folks turn around.

As usual, bring plenty of water and a sunhat. 

10. Black Mountain Trail

Black Mountain
Photo: signal mirror / CC BY 2.0
  • Highlight: Fire lookout and killer views from the peak, sequoia trees.
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,811 feet
  • Time to Complete: 6 hours
  • Difficulty:  Hard
  • Parking: Black Mountain Trailhead on Banning-Idyllwild Panoramic Highway
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 34 miles (45 min)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Black Mountain Trail is frequently described as one of the best trails in South California. It truly is a hidden gem.

The trail is tranquil; there are hardly any people taking it. Also, you can spot sequoia trees here, which is pretty rare this far south. 

Dogs are welcome, too, and the temperatures are lower because of the elevation. This trail has it all.

Although the climb is challenging, up on top, at 7,773 feet, you will be greeted by breathtaking panoramic views of the San Bernardino National Forest. They are well worth the effort.

11. San Jacinto Peak from Marion Mountain

Mt San Jacinto
  • Highlight: Ascent of 10,834 feet Mt San Jacinto Peak.
  • Type:  Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 14.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 4,607 feet
  • Time to Complete: 9 hours
  • Difficulty: Very Hard
  • Parking: Marion Mountain Trailhead
  • Distance from Moreno Valley: 42 miles (1 hour)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

If Black Mountain (above) is not challenging enough for you, try its bigger sister – San Jacinto. This route is as long as the day hikes go.

Mount San Jacinto is a legendary 10,834 feet peak. It is one of the most prominent peaks in the US, which means it dwarfs any nearby mountain. 

Long and grueling but shaded climb, with scrambling at places, will become one of your most challenging day hikes. But you will remember it for a long time.

The view from the peak is breathtaking. John Muir described it like this: “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!”

Also, the final quarter of the ascent joins the famous PCT route. So if you ever wanted to taste this 2,650-mile trail, this might be your chance.

Final Thoughts

Although Moreno Valley is quite urban, it provides access to many trails and parks. 

It also sits on the edge of vast wilderness areas like San Bernardino National Forest and Mt San Jacinto State Park, so there is no excuse to stay at home. Adventure is calling!

Hiking motivation: Funny and Inspirational Hiking Quotes.

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