Two Trees Trail

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Geology on the Two Trees Trail, Riverside
Two Trees Trail Coyote
Coyote on the Two Trees Trail

Two Trees Trail

  • Location:  Riverside.  From L.A., take the 60/215 freeway (they are the same road for a few miles) to the 3rd St. exit.  Turn left on 3rd and go 2 miles (3rd becomes Blaine).  When Blaine St. becomes a dirt road, park in the lot.  From the south or east, take the freeway to Watkins and right.  In 1.5 miles, go right on Nisbet.  In 0.2 miles, go left on Mt. Vernon.  Turn right on Blaine.
  • Agency: Riverside County Regional Park & Open Space District
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,100 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (Steepness, elevation gain)
  • Suggested time: 2 hours
  • Best season: October – June
  • USGS topo maps: Riverside; San Bernardino South
  • Recommended gear: hiking poles sun hat
  • Recommended guidebook: Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire
  • More information: here and here
  • Rating: 7

Riverside residents are fortunate to have easy access to the Two Trees Trail in Box Springs Mountain Park, which provides a quick workout and great views of the surrounding area.  Ironically I used to live across the freeway from the park, completely unaware of what I was missing.

The beginning of the trail is a little tricky (the first time I tried the trail, I crossed through more private property than I probably should have).  From the end of Blaine, head left on a fire road.  Follow the road to the end (you’ll pass by a sign that reads “private property”; you can bypass the driveway by veering off the fire road and crossing the creek before rejoining the fire road).   At the paved Two Trees Road, take a right and walk to the entrance to Box Springs Mountain Park.  The signed Two Trees Trail begins here.  Note that parking is not allowed on Two Trees Road.

The trail dips down into a canyon before beginning its ascent.  As you climb, you pass by a lot of interesting rock formations, similar to those at Joshua Tree, and the views of the city become wider and wider.  You reach a ridge and soon after, about a mile in, you pass Cassina Spring and cross a stream.  This is some of the only shade on the trail and a nice place to take a break.

After Cassina, you will see the top of the trail: Box Springs Mountain Road.  This is the turnaround point, although you can extend your hike by heading south on the Edison fire road or north to the Skyline Loop trails.  If you head north (left) for a short distance you’ll arrive at a saddle where you get nice views of the San Bernardino Mountains.  Your westward view from the top of the trail includes the San Gabriels, the Santa Anas and a substantial slice of the Inland Empire.

Text and photography copyright 2012 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.

4 thoughts on “Two Trees Trail

  1. Hi, Can you tell me more about the difficulty level. I am committed to taking a group of 6-8 year old boys on this rail tomorrow and I think it may be too hard for them. Do you think with lots of rest breaks it kis doable for that age? Is it dangerously steep? Thanks!

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