Little Canyon & Diemer Loop (Chino Hills State Park)

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On the South Ridge Trail near Glider Point, Chino Hills State Park
On the South Ridge Trail near Glider Point, Chino Hills State Park
Oaks in Telegraph Canyon, Chino Hills State Park
Oaks in Telegraph Canyon, Chino Hills State Park

Little Canyon & Diemer Loop (Chino Hills State Park)

    • Location: Yorba Linda.  From the 57 freeway, take Orangethorpe exit and head east for 4.2 miles.  Turn left on Kellogg, go 1.8 miles and turn right on Yorba Linda Blvd.  Go 0.3 miles and turn left on Fairmont.  Go 1.6 miles and turn left on Rim Crest.  Follow Rim Crest to its end and park on the corner of Blue Gum and Rim Crest.  From the Riverside area, take the 91 freeway to Yorba Linda Blvd.  Go northwest on Yorba Linda Blvd. for 2.4 miles, and turn right on Village Center.  Go a mile and turn left on Fairmont.  Go 0.3 miles and turn right on Rim Crest.
    • Agency:  Chino Hills State Park (home page here)
    • Distance: 5.1 miles
    • Elevation gain: 750 feet
    • Difficulty Rating: PG
    • Suggested time: 2.5 hours
    • Best season: October – June
    • USGS topo map:  Yorba Linda
    • Recommended gear: sun hat; sunblock
    • Recommended guidebook: Day Hikes Around Orange County
    • More information: trip report here (slightly different route); Everytrail report here
    • Rating: 6

This loop combines several popular trails in Chino Hills State Park: Little Canyon and the Diemer Trail, with a long stretch along the rolling South Ridge Trail and another long stretch in quiet Telegraph Canyon. Accessible from the free Rim Crest entrance in a residential Yorba Linda neighborhood, this loop is a nice, moderate workout with some nice views of Orange County.

From Rim Crest, follow the trail into the park to a four-way junction. Head right on the South Ridge Trail, as if you were going to San Juan Hill. You make a quick ascent of about 200 feet, gaining nice views of the suburbs, and the trail levels out. Another ascent brings you to a junction (0.9 miles) with the Little Canyon Trail.  Turn left and begin a steep descent down into Telegraph Canyon. On the way, you get nice views of Gilman Peak, the second tallest summit in the park.

At the bottom of the Little Canyon Trail, turn left on Telegraph Canyon. The trail descends slightly, passing by the Easy Street Trail leading back to the entrance (1.8 miles.) Watch out for mountain bikers, which can be hard to see coming.

Continuing past the Easy Street Trail, you continue down into Telegraph Canyon, crossing the stream a couple of times. At 3.3 miles from the start, turn left on the Diemer Trail and begin your ascent. At 3.8 miles, you return to the South Ridge Trail. You continue your ascent, finally topping out at a spot known as Glider Point (4.7 miles.) Named for its popularity with model airplane enthusiasts, it provides a view that includes Sierra Peak, Old Saddleback, coastal Orange County, Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Leaving Glider Point, the trail makes a sharp descent, returning to the four-way junction outside the Rim Crest entrance.

Text and photography copyright 2013 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

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