Bogart County Park
- Location: Near Cherry Valley, Riverside County. From points east, take the 10 Freeway to Highland Springs Ave (exit 96). Head north for 2.4 miles to Brookside Ave. Turn left and go one mile to Cherry Ave. Turn right and go 1.5 mile to the park entrance (Cherry Ave. becomes International Park Road). Alternately from the west, take the 10 Freeway to the Cherry Valley Blvd. exit (90). Head east on Cherry Valley Blvd. for 3.7 miles to Noble St. Turn left and go 0.4 mile to Dutton St. Turn right and go 0.2 mile to Cherry Ave. Turn left and go 0.3 mile to the park entrance. Day use fee is $10 per vehicle. Inside the park, continue a short distance to the Pine parking area.
- Agency: Riverside County Parks
- Distance: 2.2 miles (with many options for extending)
- Elevation gain: 300 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 1 hour or more
- Best season: October – June (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
- Dogs: Up to 3, allowed on leash ($2 extra per dog)
- Cell phone reception: Fair
- Water: Available in restrooms and fountains throughout the park
- Restrooms: Several facilities throughout the park
- Camping: Available at the park (see link above for more information)
- More information: Description of the park here; Bogart County Park Facebook page here
- Rating: 6
Sitting quietly in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, Bogart Park offers an escape from the nearby Inland Empire cities and suburbs. The park receives relatively light visitation but with a variety of trails and scenery, it’s a fun destination for any Riverside/San Bernardino County hiker. While the area does get hot during the summer, there’s a decent amount of shade and at 3,000 feet and more above sea level, it offers a chance to beat the heat without having to drive to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead. It can also make a nice spot to stop and stretch your legs if you are heading from L.A. to Palm Springs. The short loop described here offers a sampling of the park’s eye candy. If the entrance fee of $10 seems a little high for a regional park, you can easily make it worth your while by planning on spending a full day exploring the many offshoot trails and fire roads.
From the Pine parking area, head back toward the entrance station and turn right on an unsigned spur which drops down to Noble Creek and enters a grove of tall oaks. A short climb brings you to the Nature Trail. Turn right and follow the Nature Trail, which parallels the park’s main paved road (International Park Road). After a pleasant half-mile ramble through the oaks, you emerge near the campgrounds. For the next half mile, you may have to contend with some noise from the campsites, but the mountainous landscape is an attractive distraction.
At 1.1 miles from the start, you cross a dirt road. If you have time, you can continue farther north along either the road or the trail. For this route, turn right on the dirt road and begin heading south. You walk through the Creekside Group Camp and then the equestrian camp, where you’ll turn right on a single-track trail (signed with a white horse shoe). The trail climbs to a ridge with views to the south including San Jacinto Mountain and the eastern Inland Empire suburbs of Beaumont, Calimesa and Cherry Valley.
In half a mile, look for a trail dropping off the ridge to the left. It deposits you onto a dirt road. Bear right and follow the road a few dozen yards to International Park Road and retrace your steps downhill, half a mile back to the Pine parking area. Though the road is paved, towering oaks on both sides provide shade and make this last stretch enjoyable.
In case you were wondering, the park is named not for famed actor Humphrey but for Dr. Guy Bogart, former president of the Beaumont Rotary Club. In the 1930s, Bogart scouted out this area as a location for the then-annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. Originally called International Park, the property was renamed for Dr. Bogart in 1957.
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.