Description - In 1955 the Santa Ana River was recommended to the State Parks Commission as a multipurpose recreation area. Since that time, the river corridor has been viewed by many as an important regional recreation and open space resource. The river corridor covering three counties has always had the potential to include a regional trail system from the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, some 110 miles long. The Santa Ana River corridor presents the trail user a cross section of the natural and cultural environments of the San Bernardino Mountains, the Inland Empire and South Coast environments.
Copyright: San Bernardino County Regional Parks
Santa Ana River Trail - Phase I, San Bernardino County
In 1977, portions of the trail system were designated National Recreation Trail status by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ultimately connecting with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, the Santa Ana River Trail will become one of the nation's longest recreation trails serving millions of people in the fast growing Orange County and Inland Empire region.
- A very unique element of the Santa Ana River Trail is its great diversity. The trail has its origins in the San Bernardino National Forest in the Heart Bar Ranch area. The Santa Ana River Trail begins at the Pacific Crest Trail at 8,600 feet near Coon Creek Jumpoff. From there the trail crosses approximately 33 miles of National Forest around Morton Peak to the Mill Creek - Santa Ana River confluence north of Redlands in the valley floor. The trail then extends along the southern edge of the wide boulder-strewn Santa Ana Wash area and into San Bernardino. Then the trail enters an urbanized reach from San Bernardino to Riverside. At Rancho Jurupa Regional Park, the trail enters a riparian woodland corridor all the way to Prado Dam in Corona. From there the trail extends through the Santa Ana Canyon area and into the very urbanized coastal plain to Orange County. Its ultimate destination is the Pacific Ocean, a total of 110 miles and 8,600 feet of elevation change.
Orange County: The majority of the Orange County paved bike path is complete and is reported to have upwards of 6,000 daily users.
Riverside County: In the last 15 years (1986-2001), Riverside County has constructed over eight miles of the Class I Bike Path. A Master Agreement was executed with the City of Riverside to jointly develop the bike path within city limits. By 2005, approximately 3.95 miles of Class I Bike Path will be added. Long-term developed of the bike path to the Riverside-Orange County line includes approximately 12 miles of Class 1 Bike Path. (Total length of the bikeway within Riverside County, from the San Bernardino County line to the Orange County line is approximately 24.2 miles, including the unincorporated areas of Riverside County, and the Cities of Riverside, Norco, and Corona.)
San Bernardino County: Eighteen miles of the 110-mile Santa Ana River Trail are under the jurisdiction of San Bernardino County (from the Riverside / San Bernardino County line to the National Forest boundary). Open is a 2-mile paved trail on the existing flood control maintenance road. The Regional Parks Division is currently working on three phases of development for the trail / parkway: PHASE I - R/SB County line to La Cadena Drive (3.3 miles); PHASE II - La Cadena Drive to Waterman Avenue (3.5 miles); and, PHASE III - Waterman Avenue to Alabama Street (4.5 miles). The remaining seven miles of the project will be addressed with future funding sources.
Recreation - The trail and open space system, linked by approximately 32 feeder trails, is the "Interstate" of trail system in the three county area - the backbone of the system. The general public bicycle, horseback ride, and hike the corridor.
Climate - Climate along the Santa Ana River Trail varies greatly. Temperatures can be 70 degrees F in Orange County while only 40 degrees F in the San Bernardino National Forest. Elevation is a large factor. It can snow almost any month of the year in the highest elevations. Coastal areas have a more moderate climate with mostly rainfall during the winter months. Summer temperatures are normally warm to hot at the low elevations and more moderate at the higher elevations. Nighttime temperatures can be cool in the mountains, even during the summer months.
The river corridor covers three counties from the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, some 110 miles long. The Santa Ana River Trail begins at the Pacific Crest Trail at 8,600 feet near Coon Creek Jumpoff. There are approximately 32 feeder trails.