Hike of the Week: Bane Canyon, Chino Hills State Park, CA

Find fields of poppies on this spring-perfect hike in the Chino Hills outside Lake Elsinore.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.7 miles (lollipop-loop)
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5


Perk of SoCal’s record rainfall and a friendly visit from the Pineapple Express in winter? Superbloom. The Chino Hills and slopes around Lake Elsinore go off every year, but 2019 is shaping up to be truly out of this world, with hillsides painted neon orange with California poppies and streaked with purple phacelias. 

Petal-peepers may line the roads and easy-access spots, so get above it all on this loop. You’ll still see some other dayhikers, but you’ll ditch the crowds early on. From the park’s north trailhead (33.9548, -117.7028), hike .6 mile south to the lollipop’s junction. The loop is 4.5 miles; you can go either direction, but the flowers are best on the ridge (west) side, so score them early by going counterclockwise. Fill up a memory card with orange and purple blooms, then circle back through the canyon for new scenery.

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