Johnstone Peak P500
Laverne G4 BM P300
Peak 1,768ft P500
Peak 1,913ft P500
Pedley Hills P500
Mt. Rubidoux P500
Sugarloaf Mountain P300
Table BM P300

Apr 14, 2022
Sugarloaf Mountain
Table BM
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPX Profiles: 1 2 3


I started the third day of this roadtrip still in the Angeles National Forest, but that would last only for the first two summits. I then began to make my way southeast to the Inland Empire and western Riverside County where I finished up the day. It was a long, busy day with more than 5,000ft of gain spread over eight summits.

Johnstone Peak

This summit is located in the San Gabriel Mtns foothills east of Glendora. I used the access at the end of Terrebonna Ave. There is a pedestrian opening on the left side of a locked gate. The service road route then climbs 1,600ft over the course of 2.75mi, a fairly gentle gradient. The route isn't particularly scenic, but views do open as one climbs higher. Views south to the Inland Empire cities are clearer in the morning, so it had that going for it. It was also spring, so the hills were nicely green. There are old USFS signs along the road that suggest one used to be able to drive this back in the day, but they haven't been maintained in decades. At the summit is a telecom installation and a memorial plaque from 1940 to the civic leader for whom the peak is named. If there was a register up there somewhere, I didn't find it. I spent about two and a quarter hours on the roundtrip effort.

Laverne G4 BM

This one is located about 4mi east of Johnstone Peak with San Dimas Canyon cutting a deep gorge between them. The summit lies along a long, W-E ridge, eventually turning northeast to connect to Sunset Peak a number of miles away. Laverne can be reached from Marshall Canyon Park to the south via several old firebreaks. It can also be reached from the southwest via Mtn Springs Ranch Rd. The road starts at a gated community at the base of the mountain, making access difficult. They may allow pedestrian access as I saw a mountain biker on the road above, but I don't know since I didn't ask or check. Instead, I started from San Dimas Canyon Rd where I spotted a use trail on the satellite view going steeply up from the road along San Dimas Reservoir. It joins Mtn Springs Ranch Rd above and the route appears to be entirely on National Forest lands. I had some trouble finding the starting point when I got there, but a young couple parked nearby helped point me to it. The unsigned trail is overgrown in many places, but it is still quite serviceable. It took about 25min to reach the service road above, after which the going is much easier. I followed the service road (using a firebreak along the way for a shortcut) for another 45min, then turned off on the same firebreak that would lead to the summit in less than 10min. The summit isn't terribly interesting, and save for the old firebreak, is covered in chapparal. Views south to the Inland Empire were already quite hazy at 11a. After a bit of searching, I found a register in a red can next to the benchmark. The register had been left in 2016 by a Meetup group and was quite busy. The most recent entry was from two months ago, by Chuck Hodi who had numerous entries. On the descent from the summit, I followed an overgrown use trail off the south side to return to the service road, then I reversed my route back down to San Dimas Reservoir, the pavement and the Jeep, finishing up before 12:15p.

Peak 1,763ft

I next headed to the Jurupa Mountains, a small collection of hills found northwest of Riverside and the Santa Ana River. I had been to the range highpoint in 2011, now back for the other summits that surround it. Peak 1,763ft is the westernmost of these. My route was similar to others, starting from the end of Elm Ave on the NNE side where a cul-de-sac provides access to various trail options. In addition to a service road that climbs to a water tank, there are maintained bike trails on the flanks of the mountain. The upper half is reasonably accessed only by foot as the bike trails do no go that high, but rough use trails do. The summit is on BLM lands, while the north slopes and bike trails are part of the Southridge Village Open Space Reserve. I used a combination of the available trails to make my way to the summit in less than 30min. The summit is adorned with a crude cross and some graffiti, but less than one might expect so close to urban areas. Nice views of the urban sprawl to the north and south, as well as one of the higher Mt. Jurupa to the east. On the return, I used an older, abandoned road to descend to the neighborhood, then followed the fenceline back - nothing to recommend the return route.

Peak 1,913ft

I drove a few miles to the east side of Mt. Jurupa where Peak 1,913ft is found. Ownership of this mountain appears uncertain. A sign along Sierra Ave shows that at least some of the mountain's west side is for sale. I parked at the end of Tudor Way on the NW side of the summit where pedestrian access can be found exiting the neighborhood. A tunnel going under Sierra Ave provides pedestrian/bike access to the west side of the road where Mt. Jurupa is located (a slightly shorter route than starting from Martin Tudor Jurupa Hills Regional Park). A dirt road stays on the east side of Sierra Ave heading south and then east/southeast up towards the summit. Portions of this are steep and unsuitable for bikes, though it appears bikes/motorcycles might have ways up from the east side. I spent half an hour in reaching the summit via the westside route. I spent some time watching a handful of ravens playing on the wind currents blowing over the summit. Mt. Jurupa rises to the west. To the east were three lower summits I turned my attention to next.

The three peaks (Peak 1,452ft, Rattlesnake Mtn, Peak 1,739ft) looked like a slam-dunk from the satellite view which shows the area criss-crossed with OHV tracks. I approached from the end of 20th St on the east side, only to find the area completely fenced and No Trespassing signs prominently displayed. A guy standing next to a security vehicle watched me circle in the Jeep. I went over to talk with him, quite politely, and we had a nice, short conversation. His job is to patrol it and keep folks out. No OHVs, no hiking, no trespassing. This seems to be a new-ish development, because there are plenty of ascents logged to PB as recently as December and none of them mention access issues. Seems these might require stealth now, so I left them for some future visit.

Pedley Hills

These minor hills lie about 5mi south of the Jurupa Mtns. Ownership again seems uncertain, but access is easy. I drove to the end of Lakeside Dr and parked there. A rough dirt road continues nearly to the summit, possibly driveable. This area sees motorcycle traffic as there were a handful on the south side. It takes only a few minutes to walk the short distance to the highpoint, though not much special about it.

Mt. Rubidoux

This one is of historical interest. The small hill is sandwiched between Riverside and the Santa Ana River. It has been a park for more than a hundred years and used for Easter Sunrise Services for just as long. It seems to be very popular, not surprising, given it's urban surroundings. There's no parking at the entrance, but Ryan Bonaminio Park to the south has ample parking available. I walked several blocks on the sidewalk past street vendors selling to park visitors, then entered the park through the gate. A paved road winds its way to the summit and is used by most visitors since it has an easy grade and not open to vehicles. There is also a network of unsigned, informal trails that have developed over many decades offering some fun class 2 scrambling for children and adults alike. I used these trails going up and down. At the highpoint there is a large white cross and abundant graffiti. An amphitheater is found on the northeast side where Easter services are held. There is an American flag at a lower summit to the north, and lots of architectral curiousities made of rock from a bygone era. Sprinkled about are more than a dozen plaques commemorating various things, mostly Junipero Serra and the subjugation of the native population prepackaged as the beginning of civilization. It seems the public park ran afoul of separation of church and state clauses, and was transferred to a community organization a decade ago. I spent about 45min all told visiting the park.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf is found on the far west side of Riverside. In rush hour traffic, it took a bit of work getting across town. I parked near the junction of Spruce St and Valencia Hills Dr on the south side of the summit. The upper portion of the mountain and a much larger tract to the east are part of the Box Springs Mtn Reserve Park. A plaque is found near the start for the Mulla Family Trail that provides access/easement from the neighborhood. It's a very nice trail leading to a saddle on the southeast side of the summit, at the edge of the preserve. There is a nice loop hike one can make following the trail directly up to the summit, then north and back around the east side to return to the saddle. A tombstone for a 15yr-old Scott Anderson can be found at the summit with views of the surrounding communities. I spent about 45min on the hike in the late afternoon.

Table BM

It was getting late, but I wanted to do this last one since I was in the area. Table BM is also located in the Box Springs Mtns, and the last of three summits for me to visit. My starting point was from the WSW at the end of Two Trees Rd where the Two Trees Trail begins. There were a handful of cars in the small dirt lot when I arrived, but all would be gone before I got back more than an hour later. The easiest route would be to follow the obvious trail (an old ranch road) up to the main crest, then north to the summit on a use trail. From the start I noticed there were lesser trails all over the place and immediately went about looking for a shorter, more direct way to the summit since I was short on time. The cross-country travel is easy here, as it looked to have been heavily grazed and trailed by free-roaming horses who left poops scattered everywhere. Only after I heard the first braying did I realize this was the work of burros. Not sure who thought this would be a good idea to have wild burros in a semi-urban environment, but they've had free rein and made a mess of things. Where the other places I visited today were colored spring green with modest amounts of wildflowers, these were brown and barren and stripped of anything soft and green. I followed various burro trails in the general direction of the summit, eventually switching to cross-country for the last part as I was racing sunset to the top. I didn't quite make it in time, but I got to see a nice sunset regardless. The top is a collection of large granite boulders generously blanketed in graffiti. I continued over the top heading south to find the use trail which I had planned to take back the Two Trees Trail and back to the start. Somewhere in my brain I decided I hadn't had enough adventure, so I left the trail for a cross-country route that saved neither time nor energy. I crossed drainages and down steep slopes, traversed others, and got onto the Two Trees Trail about the time I was going to start stumbing because of darkness. I jogged my way down the trail to get back to the Jeep at 8p - just enough light that I didn't need a headlamp.

I took a shower in the parking lot, then headed to town for dinner options and some wifi so I could make plans for the following day. I had seen Blue Mtn to the north from both Sugarloaf and Table BM, and discovered it has nearly 900ft of prominence. I decided to pay it a visit in the morning and drove off to a new neighborhood being built between Blue Mtn and Table BM. At the east end of the last homes being built, I found a quiet dirt road away from lights, homes and noise where I could spend the night in peace - it was one of the better campsites I had on this extended roadtrip...


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