El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA

El Dorado Ranch Park (Yucaipa)

UPDATE (9/18/2020): For information about the El Dorado Fire, click here. Click the image below to donate to the California Fire Foundation.

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  • Location: Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa. From Interstate 10, take the Oak Glen Road/Live Oak Canyon exit (85) and head northeast for 6.8 miles. The park entrance will be on your left. Alternately, from points south and east, take Interstate 10 to Oak Valley Parkway (exit 92). Head east on Oak Valley Parkway for 1.4 miles to Beaumont Ave. Turn left and follow Beaumont Ave., which becomes Oak Glen Road, for 10 miles. Bear left onto Potato Canyon Road, follow it 0.8 mile where it rejoins Oak Glen Road, and continue on Oak Glen Road for 0.9 mile to the park, on the right.
  • Agency: City of Yucaipa
  • Distance: 2.9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 350 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG
  • Suggested time: 1.5 hours
  • Best season: September – June
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Cell phone reception: Fair
  • Water: Fountains and a pump at the trail head
  • Restrooms: Full restrooms at the trail head
  • Camping: None
  • Recommended gear: sun hat
  • More information:  Article about the park here; video of a mountain bike ride in the park here; Map My Hike report here; All Trails report (slightly different route) here
  • Rating: 6

Established in 2014, Yucaipa’s El Dorado Ranch Park straddles the boundary between suburbia and mountains, offering an easy escape for Inland Empire hikers. Several miles of trails cross the 334-acre property, allowing multiple possible routes, including the one described below. The trails in the park are not marked, but they are well maintained and easy to follow.

From the parking area, follow the trail north as it dips in and out of a ravine,  enjoying views of the mountains on your right and the suburbs on your left before dropping to a wash. Half a mile from the start you reach a junction. Stay straight (the left fork is your return route) and follow the trail alongside the bottom of a south-facing ridge. The trail bends north to a T-junction (0.9 mile). Turn right and continue up canyon, passing by a few scrub oaks and cottonwoods. You’ll also pass a pair of stone foundations of long-abandoned buildings, reclaimed by nature.

The trail, now a narrow single-track, leads through a thick, jungle-like growth and emerges on the other side in a meadow. After skirting the eastern boundary of the park, the trail bends west, soon reaching a picnic table under an old pine tree. This is about the halfway point of the loop, a nice spot to relax and enjoy views to the south and west. From the picnic table, pick up the fire road heading north (signed as Carter Street on Google Maps) to another T-junction. This is the high point of the loop at about 3,540 feet elevation. Turn left and head slightly downhill, passing by one junction (an option if you want to shorten the hike) and reaching a second, 1.9 miles from the start. Turn left and head downhill, staying left at the first intersection you reach and then right, completing the loop. From here, retrace your steps out of the wash and back to the parking lot.

El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
Start of the trail
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
View of the flood plain (outbound route at far right, return route bottom left)
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
Approaching the flood plain
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
View of the mountains before the trail enters thick growth
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
Trail through the growth
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
Picnic table at the overlook
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
Scrub oak, manzanita and buckwheat
El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa, CA
Heading downhill from Carter St. back toward the start of the loop

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.

One comment

  1. Nice park, but it’s been closed since a fire burned brush and grass there a year and a half ago. No explanation of why it remains closed.

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