It has been so hot in So Cal that I haven’t had a chance to go hiking. It finally started to cool down this last week but as the weekend came the temperature shot up again. So I decided to take an early morning local hike and try to complete it before the temps got above 90.
I decided to hike Box Springs Mountain. AllTrails.com showed that the trail was well traveled without any issues. I decided on the short Two Tree’s Trail and possibly venture onto the “M” via Box Springs Mountain Park trail if it wasn’t too hot when I got to the top.
To get to the trailhead you have to go through some older homes on the back side of UCR. Once you get to the trailhead there is a small dirt parking lot on the right side. I was there about 7am and there were already 4 cars parked with hikers up the mountain. As I got out of my car I noticed all the warning signs about rattle snakes and mountain lions. The mountain lion warning didn’t scare me too much but with Big Bear still fresh in my mind the snake warning freaked me out a bit.
Even though I was still freaked out about the snakes I laced up my boots and started on the trail. The sun was still hiding behind the mountain as I begin, keeping the trail shaded for a short distance but as soon as the trail started to ascend the sun decided to make an appearance. It was bright and it was hot and it was humid at 7 in the morning. I could feel the sweat dripping down my back where my backpack was resting. Getting on the trail early didn’t seem to work out as I thought it would, but I was already there and so I kept going.
The trail offers beautiful views of UCR, Downtown Riverside and even Mount Rubidoux. The visibility wasn’t clouded by the Inland Empire smog yet making it a clear morning. The trail continued up and never really evened out until you got to the top. There were spots that offered a little shade on the trail but for the most part you were completely exposed to the sun. With my 100 sunblock on and long sleeve dri-wick shirt I felt better prepared than I was when I did Duck Lake. I looked a little out of place since this hike was short and most hikers weren’t really hikers and had the workout tank top and yoga style spandex pants on, but my shirt kept me cool and I loved it.
The trail was easy to follow and there were a lot of people coming down as well as going up. When I got close to the top I noticed a house at the top of the mountain. It struck me as odd that this well maintained house was at the top of this mountain but as I made my way up the final inclined I reached a dirt road that housed more homes and a small parking lot with benches and a restroom. This was the start of the next trail.
There were hikers resting at the benches and new hikers coming in from the dirt road. The temperature had spiked over 90 degrees already so I decided to call it a day. I turned around and headed back down. I completed the 2.7 mile hike in an hour and 25 minutes. I was really happy with this trail and how well it was maintained. I can’t wait to continue to explore this mountain that is so close to home.
County: Riverside County
Miles: 2.7 miles round trip
Elv Gain: 1,023 Feet Gained
Trail: via Two Tree’s Trail