Fresno Canyon (Corona)
- Location: Nicholas Place and Green River Road, Corona. From the 91 Freeway, take the Green River Rd. exit (44). Head east on Green River Rd. (turn left if you are coming from the east; right if you are coming from Orange County). Go 0.9 mile to Nicholas Place, turn right and park where available.
- Agency: City of Corona/Cleveland National Forest, Trabuco Ranger District
- Distance: 3.6 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,050 feet
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Difficulty rating: PG
- Best season: October – May
- Recommended gear: hiking poles sunblock sun hat
- Dogs: Allowed on leash
- Cell phone reception: Good, fair in spots
- Water: None
- Restrooms: None
- Camping: None
- More information: Trip descriptions here and here
- Rating: 6
If you find yourself stuck in traffic on the 91 Freeway, the hike through Fresno Canyon and the ridges above it make for a nice place to stop and stretch your legs. Thanks to the Inland Empire hiking group “Lazy Ass Hikers” the trail has been recognized by the city of Corona. This post describes a moderate hike that can be knocked out in a couple of hours but one doesn’t have to do the entire route to get a good workout and good views. Conversely, hikers who want more of a challenge can continue farther up the ridge.
From the corner of Nicholas Place and Green River Road, head west on Green River Road to the signed trailhead. The first 0.7 mile is fairly uneventful but after you cross Oakridge Drive, the incline increases significantly. Half a mile of rigorous climbing brings you to a T-junction. The left fork leads to a small knoll with views; this is a good destination for hikers short on time or with small kids. The right fork, now an unofficial but easy to follow single-track, climbs steadily uphill along the ridge. The terrain is loose in spots and tends to erode after rain so exercise caution.
At 1.7 miles from the start, you reach a knoll that can be climbed either by a steep fire break or by continuing along a single track which intersects a service road. From the knoll, you can enjoy a 180-degree view of the Santa Ana Canyon, Chino Hills, San Gabriel Mountains, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. This is a good turnaround point, but if you’re up for an even steeper climb, you can continue along the ridge to Leonard Road – 1.5 miles and 1,500 feet higher.
Photo gallery (click thumbnails to see the full sized versions)
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.