- Location: Chino Hills State Park. From the 71 Expressway, take exit 7 (Soquel Canyon Parkway/Central Avenue.) Head southwest on Soquel Canyon Parkway (turn right if you’re coming from the north, left if from the south) for a mile. Turn left on Elinvar Drive and go 0.2 miles to the signed entrance of the park, right after Elinvar becomes Sapphire. Follow the newly paved road for 2.6 miles; several sections have only one lane for traffic in both directions so exercise caution. At the self-serve kiosk, pay the $5 day use fee. Park in the Lower Aliso Canyon day use lot which is on the left side of the road, shortly before it begins to curve back north.
- Agency: Chino Hills State Park (home page here)
- Distance: 4.7 miles
- Elevation gain: 750 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – May
- Recommended gear: sun hat sunblock
- Dogs: Not allowed
- Cell phone reception: None in the lower areas; fair along the ridges
- Water: Fountains and sinks at park entrance kiosk; faucet at trail head
- Restrooms: Full restrooms at park entrance kiosk; chemical toilets at trail head
- Camping: At Rolling M Ranch
- More information: Map My Hike report here; Trail map here; Yelp page here
- Rating: 6
This enjoyable hike explores the northeastern corner of Chino Hills State Park, climbing ridges on both sides of Bane Canyon. If you don’t mind the power lines, the views of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Anas and the rolling terrain of Chino Hills State Park itself are impressive. The route described below specifically explores the lower (southern) ends of the Bane Ridge and Fenceline Trails, creating a mirror image of another loop on the upper sections of those trails, which shares the Pomona Trail segment of this hike. That loop is described here.
From the parking area, cross the street and ascend the signed single-track trail, soon reaching the equestrian staging area. The Bane Ridge Trail departs from the north end, climbing a ridge with views in both directions. The ascent is stiff at first before becoming more level and reaching a junction with the Pomona Trail, 1.3 miles from the start. Make a hard right and follow the Pomona Trail to the floor of Bane Canyon, lined with willows and sycamores.
After crossing the paved road (1.6 miles from the start) the Pomona Trail begins its steady ascent up Bane Canyon’s eastern wall, gaining about 300 feet in a little over half a mile to reach the high point of the route. Here, your efforts are rewarded with a commanding view of Mt. Baldy, towering above the low-lying Inland Empire suburban sprawl. If visibility is good, you may see San Gorgonio and San Jacinto far to the east. The Pomona Trail makes a sharp right turn and heads southeast along the ridge line before descending to a junction by an old windmill (2.8 miles). Make a hard right on the signed but somewhat obscure East Fenceline Trail. The hike now takes on a more rugged feel as this narrow single track, overgrown in some spots, weaves along the curving slopes of the ridge.
At 3.6 miles from the start you reach another junction. To complete this loop, turn right on the Slaughter Canyon Trail briefly uphill before descending back to Bane Canyon Road. Turn left and follow the paved road 0.3 mile back to your starting point. Another option is to continue along the East Fenceline Trail to McLean Overlook and return to your car via the Corral Trail.
Text and photography copyright 2017 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.