Many people are flocking to Chino Hills to admire the wildflower bloom after the wet California winter, but in May 2023, it is a little disappointing.
Although wildflowers are everywhere, I couldn’t find the multicolored poppies in abundance. I could only see a lot of yellow mustard flowers on the hills and especially along the trails.
Watching poppy super blooms is a matter of timing. I think people who visited in March had better luck.
The park is still beautiful and always worth a visit for hiking, biking, jogging, or picnicking.
That Park extends over 14,173 acres on the borders of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.
It has about sixty miles of trails and fire roads that traverse hills and canyons with woodlands, sage scrub, grasslands, and wildflowers.
The Center sits at the west entrance of the Chino Hills State Park in Brea.
The center is a great place to learn about the local trails, wildlife, and fauna. The staff here is helpful and friendly.
Families with younger children will appreciate the hands-on exhibits, and you can spend a bit more than an hour here, depending upon how much your youngsters want to see.
The center also has the only restrooms at this end of the expansive park.
Telegraph Canyon Trail
It is a mostly level trail, so it is considered easy and good for families with small children, but it is long. You can always turn back at any point for a shorter hike.
It is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and horseback riding, so expect a lot of traffic on weekends.
Tip: You can park in Carbon Canyon Regional Park and walk the short, signed trail to Chino Hills Park. You get to visit another nice park and pay a lower entrance fee.
The Telegraph Canyon trail takes you more than halfway through the park’s major east-west canyon.
You will venture through some beautiful riparian areas, dense with oak, alder, and sycamore trees, but most of the trail is without shade.
As you walk between the hills and canyons, you can easily forget about the multimillion homes nearby.
Bane Ridge Trail
To get to the trailhead, you will first pass through the entry gate at the east end of the park in Chino Hills, drive for about 12 minutes on Bane Canyon Rd. to the Horse Staging gravel parking lot. Here is a link to the exact location on Google Maps, https://goo.gl/maps/iCTxSE4araE2.
Driving along Bane Canyon is a treat for the eyes as it meanders between the hills, offering spectacular views of the wildflowers. Several lookout points allow the visitors to stop and admire the views.
The trail is easy (2 out of 5) with alternating stretches of level terrain and steep climbs.
The trail begins by climbing gently through a forest of oaks and pines. As you ascend, the views of the surrounding hills and mountains will begin to open. After about 1.5 miles (2.41 km), the trail reaches a junction. Continue straight to stay on Bane Ridge Trail.
The trail continues to climb, offering ever-improving views. After about 2.5 miles (4.02 km), the trail reaches the summit of Bane Ridge. The summit offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Ana Mountains, and the Inland Empire.
From the summit, you can either retrace your steps back to the trailhead or continue for a longer hike. If you choose to continue, the trail descends back down to Bane Canyon Road.
Expect to hike from 1 to 2 hours, depending on your pace and stops.