Borea Canyon (San Bernardino)
The Daley Canyon Trail, which actually follows a ridge between Borea Canyon and Harrison Canyon, forms a link between the San Bernardino neighborhood of Del Rosa and the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. This post describes a 6-mile round trip to a junction with West Daley Spur Road, which makes a good day hike. However, ambitious hikers can continue farther up West Daley Spur Road or make a loop by descending it and finishing up on city streets. The route is almost entirely exposed, although if you get off to an early start, various bumps along the ridge will help block out the sun.
From the corner of Chiquita and Daley Canyon Road, bypass the white metal gate and begin ascending through a grove of eucalyptus trees. The start of the trail is paved before becoming dirt. The fire road then makes a serpentine ascent, by turns offering views of the city below and the mountains above. You ascend steadily, maintaining a rate of 400-500 feet of elevation gain per mile – not too severe but it does add up after a while. A few use trails bypass sections of the fire road for hikers who want more of an adventure – but these routes are steep and traverse difficult terrain so don’t expect to save much time with them.
As you climb higher, you get views of the round shapes of McKinley Mountain to the east and Marshall Peak to the west, standing above Highway 18. Farther off are the San Gabriels and the Cajon Pass. At three miles, you reach a junction with West Daley Spur Road. A use trail leads to a knoll, just under 3,000 feet elevation, with some good views. Concrete slabs suggest that this spot may have once housed a lookout. To the north, the ridge drops down to the upper reaches of Harrison Canyon while the south is dominated by the Inland Empire sprawl. Del Rosa Avenue forms an easy-to-trace line almost straight south to San Bernardino Airport.
In case you were wondering, Daley Canyon was named for early San Bernardino settler Edward Daley.
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.