Reaching altitudes of over 3,000 feet, the Whisper Ranch Trail sits on the eastern end of Yucaipa where suburbia starts to give way to foothills. Most of the route follows a western-facing ridge, making for some excellent views, especially at sunset. On clear days, the views extend to Old Saddleback in Orange County, the San Gabriel Mountains and everything in between. This short trip is popular with locals and for those who don’t live in the area, it can easily be combined with a visit to Oak Glen or Wildwood Canyon Park for an enjoyable day of hiking.
The north and south ends of the trail are close enough that either is easily accessible. This post describes the hike starting from the south end, which is slightly closer to the freeway. From the end of County Line Road, follow the Whisper Ranch Trail, which starts as a bridle path, uphill. A short but vigorous climb brings you to a ridge where the trail turns and heads north, weaving along the hillside. The tall peaks of the Yucaipa ridge poke up in the distance to the north while the Crafton Hills dominate the landscape to the northwest. After reaching a high point of 3,051 feet, the trail descends, gradually at first and then, after bending to the west, more steeply. You pass two spurs leading to residential streets and the trail dips into a ravine shaded by large live oaks. At 0.8 mile, you reach the north end of the trail at Mesa Grande Drive. It is possible to make the hike into a loop by returning along residential streets, but it’s more scenic to retrace your steps.
Photo gallery (click thumbnails to see the full sized versions)
Text and photography copyright 2016 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.