Friday, April 5, 2019

Chino Hills State Park

  The hills of the park glow emerald and gold due to the rainy spring. The gold is from wild mustard. It’s considered an invasive species but it’s still pretty. Lupine and poppies provide splashes of blue and orange but the predominate color comes from the mustard. The park road winds through the hills for about three miles before ending at a small campground. Parking spots are limited until the the horse camp and the Rolling M Ranch lots near  the road’s end. Many miles of well marked trails that follow the valleys and ridges can be accessed from this road which is at the east end of the park or from the Discovery Center lot at the west end.
    The campground has 20 sites with a length limit of 28 feet. Amenities include potable water and flush toilets but there isn’t a dump station. Campfires are not permitted and the firepits have metal covers with locks. The park is short staffed and the entry stations for day use and camping are not always manned. Luckily I had checked online a few days earlier to see which sites were still available otherwise we would not have known where we could camp because the site posts do not get an occupied or reserved tag. There are a couple of other things that may make this campground a poor choice for some people. The main gate is closed and locked at 5:00 from October to April and at 7:00 from April to September. It may be possible to get a code for the gate. The park road has many blind curves and two sections are one lane with pull offs. Driving can be nerve wracking because people use the road as a walking trail.
    The campground has two sites designated as accessible. They’re wide enough to deploy a lift and close to the restrooms. Anyone with a permanent disability should apply for a Disabled Discount Pass which entitles the bearer to 50% off of day, camping, and boat fees. As far as I know California is the only state that grants this type of discount to out-of-state residents.
   We found that the valley trails somewhat accessible but only with assistance because they all have obstacles in the form of steep entrances, loose sand, washed out areas, narrow sections, and hills. The farthest we walked/rolled on any of the trails was about 3/4 of a mile before we had to turn around. The interpretive signs for the old buildings at the Rolling Ranch site are accessible. We did not visit the west end of the park and the Discovery Center. Park  33.92338, -117.70842


  1. I don't believe I've ever been to Chino Hills. It's always so hot and smoggy there in summer, too. We'll probably take a pass on this one.

    1. Yes, it's hard to time your visits for the perfect time of year. We got lucky on this one!