Scully Hill
Peak 1,155ft P300
Pomona BM P500

Apr 2, 2017

With: Tom Becht

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2


For the second day in a row our plans didn't work out as expected. It was suppposed to be a moderate day with a leisurely 16-mile hike in Chino Hills State Park. The rolling, grassy hills had a handful of minor summits that we planned to visit along the way. What we found were overgrown trails with wild mustard growing well over head level that became tiring after the first hour. So we cut that one short and added another visit to the highpoint of the Puente Hills further north.

Scully Hill/Peak 1,155ft

Our starting was from the south at the Green River Golf Club on the north side of the 91 freeway. Judging from the signs we found there, this isn't really an authorized TH for the park but we didn't let that discourage us too much. There is a busy, uncontrolled railroad crossing at the base of the hills that may be why they discourage hikers from starting at this point. Or maybe they just don't want them taking up parking spaces. None of the groundskeepers that were roaming the course seemed to mind our presence and we were soon starting up the Scully Ridge Trail. It was evident from the start that the trail was unmaintained but it initially presented no issues. It follows an old ranch road up the ridgeline with various forks starting after the first mile. Our turnoff for Scully Hill came before that and even sooner we were having trouble with the out-of-control mustard. The narrow trail winds through the stuff 7-ft in height in places, forcing us to hold our hands up in front of us to deflect the stalks as we walked through it. Upon reaching the saddle north of Scully Hill, we found no use trail at all leading the last quarter mile to the summit which became more mustard thrashing without the benefit of a tread underfoot. Reaching the rounded summit offered no real reward with views mostly blocked by the tall mustard plants. While returning from this cross-country exercise to the main trail we began to have doubts about the day's plans. We soldiered on through more of the same for more than a mile to Peak 1,155ft further north. This, too, required a short bit of cross-country to reach the summit, though thankfully not as bad as we'd found on Scully Hill. From Peak 1,155ft's summit we could see north along the length of the Chino Hills. They looked so green and inviting from afar, but more of a pain in practice. There were cleared ranch roads below we could have taken up Aliso Canyon to the campground and other peaks I had in mind, but the continuation of the Scully Ridge Trail we'd hoped to take looked to continue with the overgrown stuff for several miles, at least. After a short discussion we decided to abandon the effort and look for something else to do. In all we spent just under 2hrs on the four mile hike, not one of our better endeavors.

Pomona BM

The highpoint of the Puente Hills is found in the northeast corner of the range, south of the 60 freeway and above Diamond Ranch High School, on private property. It can be accessed most easily from Pantera Park on the west side in the upscale neighborhood of Diamond Bar. On the south side of the park is a dog park with several trails leading up to the ridge where the highpoint is found. These trail were under construction during our visit, but it looks like they will be completed before the summer. Sadly, the trails don't really go very far. There is a small, undeveloped valley south of the ridgeline that is on private property, surrounded by a fence. We saw a single cow roaming the north side of the ridge on our visit, but otherwise the land looks to be currently idle. It would certainly make for a nice Open Space addition in the future if it can be managed. From the end of the trail we waded through more wild mustard to reach the fenceline, crossing where a locked gate is found. The summit is a short distance away. A small telecom installation, fallen into disuse, is surrounded by a chainlink fence near the summit. The benchmark is found just outside, though labeled "Claremont" instead of "Pomona". The summit has nice open views of the surrounding metropolis - Los Angeles to the west, Riverside and San Bernardino to the east, Pomona/Claremont to the north with some lingering snow on Mt. Baldy high above. We took a bit less than an hour for the 2mi roundtrip trek, a fairly trivial outing.

Done by 11a, we decided to pursue a leisurely lunch rather than find more such summits in the area. We had beer and sandwiches at the Rock & Brews in Buena Park, a popular chain co-founded by Kiss front man Gene Simmons. Even though the day didn't work out as expected, it was an enjoyable one, nonetheless...

Mike Martin comments on 04/13/17:
I was at Chino Hills SP two days after you were there, and I felt the same way. It really wasn't much fun walking through a green and yellow tunnel all day. Glad you bailed.

And I've been trying to figure out Pomona Benchmark for three years - nice to know that my thoughts were correct.
Kirk D from Sparks comments on 04/13/17:
Saw KISS perform as an opening act at Winterland in SF in 1973. Had no idea of their 'routine' before hand, as it was one part surprise and one part (sort of) entertaining. Savoy Brown headlined as I recall ? Much second hand smoke has my recall somewhat fuzzy . . .
Anonymous comments on 04/13/17:
That is quite the out of control mustard! Here in Carson City that stuff only pops up in disturbed/burned areas, and is a nuisance after it dries and blows away as tumbleweeds. WOW, when that crop dries and a wind storm comes up, there is going to be a MESS!
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