Chino Hills State Park: Hiking the South Ridge-Telegraph Canyon Loop


Chino Hills State Park: South Ridge-Telegraph Canyon Loop

Date Hiked: March 28, 2009
Best Season: Spring Winter
Check Trail Conditions: Chino Hills State Park (951) 780-6222
  • Distance: 4.5 miles round-trip
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Trail Type: Dirt
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This write-up has been moved and re-posted from my professional blog so that Jeff and I can keep all of our hiking posts together. It originally ran April 1, 2009, while Jeff and I were still dating.

With all the rain this year, I imagine the wildflowers are even more spectacular this year.  Go check it out and less us know!  We probably won’t make it back since state parks don’t allow dogs on the hiking trails.

New boots!

This past Saturday, my boyfriend Jeff and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather to break in my new hiking boots and take in some of the amazing post-rainy season wildflowers that are in abundance all over southern California.

We opted for a hike into Chino Hills State Park since it’s mostly Inland Empire location makes it a bit too hot for comfort during the summer. And we chose to follow the South Ridge-Telegraph Canyon Loop because its residential Yorba Linda trailhead is close to Jeff’s house.  Free street parking is available on Rim Crest Drive (off Fairmont Boulevard).


The South Ridge Trail, Chino Hills State Park, from the Yorba Linda trailhead.

I wasn’t sure what to expect (other than that it would be fun and good exercise). I can’t remember the last time I visited this state park.

But, I was pleasantly surprised!


Burned trees set amidst the green and gold of the South Ridge Trail.

From the get go, and throughout most of the hike, we were engulfed in cornstalk-high bright gold (okay, yellow, but gold sounds better) wildflowers than blanketed the hills as far as the the eye could see.

What was perhaps most surprising was the drastic contrast in colors.


The Diemer Trail, Chino Hills State Park.

In the midst of these gold blankets of flowers would arise brown-to-blackened trees and shrubs, evidence of how much this park suffered from last November’s Freeway Complex Fire. The fire devastation is especially evident along the creek in Telegraph Canyon. And yet, vibrant new green vegetation, as well as my spectacular gold flowers, thrive all around the burn areas.


The Telegraph Canyon Trail, Chino Hills State Park.


Looping back on the Easy Street Trail, Chino Hills State Park.

So, if you want to know what it feels like to walk among living gold, go check out Chino Hills State Park before summer starts to tarnish the gold.

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