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Perris Lake SRA - Terri Peak Loop

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Desert shrubs, views of Southern California mountains, nice lake views
Near:Moreno Valley, CA
Distance:6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1000 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots

Summary: This is a wonderful hike. Much of this hike is on a horse path, that is rarely used. There are lots of boulders to climb on and hilltop peaks to check out views of the San Gabriels, San Bernardinos, San Jacintos, Santa Rosas, Santa Anas, Lake Perris, and the communities of Moreno Valley, Perris, and Riverside.

The shrubbery is mainly desert grasses, sage, and thorny underbrush, but the place maintains an idyllic atmosphere. The upper plateau is gorgeous, and the view from Terri Peak is superb.

Unfortunately, the less wise sometimes mount this peak as well, there is some graffiti, and even though I have extensively cleaned up trash, occasionally you will find some garbage along the way. Perhaps being next to a haven for personal watercraft, it is inevitable.

There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore, the museum is nice and there are some informational kiosks along part of the paved path for everyone to enjoy.

Trailhead: This is the route you take if you want to pay to get into Perris Lake SRA. It is pretty nice, and worth it. There are four really nice small peaks around the lake, and each of them can be hiked to. This hike is nearly the same as my earlier Bernasconi Hills hike, except for the entrance and exit, plus this way follows a paved area along the lake past the museum.

This is a longer hike, than the one I usually take.

From the 60, exit Moreno beach, travel South towards Perris Lake, there are signs. Follow the road until it turns. You will come to a stoplight, there at Via Del Lagos, make a left. You will come to the kiosk where you can pay your entrance fees - $5 for a car, park and begin your hike to the left. (Lat:33.8741 Lon:-117.19125)

Trail Guides for Perris Lake SRA - Terri Peak Loop:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Perris Lake SRA (909) 657-0676
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted  123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 2   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jorge on 11/18/2012
Reviewed by Jorge in mid October 2012. I went with a wonderful girl named Kelley. We had the best of times. Coud not quite finish the course since we didnt have enough time. The last leg we hitched a ride from the park ranger in order to make it to a dentist appointment. Made it even more fun sitting in the back of a police car with this gorgeous girl. This girl is tough as nails. Plan to go back with cooler weather and more time to finish what we started.

Reviewed by Kat F. on 4/22/2012
My friend & I completed this hike on 4/22/12. Let's just say that the information on this hike is not very accurate. I have a mile tracker and this hike was 9.5miles roundtrip. We went around the entirety of Lake Perris. The trail is very confusing and difficult to take. It changes from a trail, to a paved path & back again & again. I highly recommend taking the paved path or the horsetrail. There was NO shade, so wear plenty of sunblock and a hat if you can. It was a great workout. We saw some lizards and jack rabbits.

Reviewed by Joe Mc on 12/27/2010
This is one of our go-to hikes and always go up from the R'side Community College side (Park at end of Grand Vista Dr. off of Iris Ave). It’s outside park so no fee. I think up to peak, down “lake side” to Indian Museum, then reverse is 6.5 – 7.0 miles. Each leg is under 2 miles but the elevation gain and terrain are such that a good pace gets the legs and lungs pumping. Took us 2 hr 25 min on Xmas Day with just a few minutes at each turnaround. Beautiful day, visible sun and temps in mid 60’s. Didn’t see any wild critter this trip but have seen deer and rabbits on others. This trail has had some bad luck over past 2 years: We sadly came upon the plane crash (12/20/10) site just before the peak in which the pilot was kille

Reviewed by zero on 3/20/2009
The parking fee is now $8, exact change (or you can write a check). The museum area was closed due to a school tour, so I hiked around the shoreline instead of the trail. It was really pleasant, except there was ZERO shade, and one portion randomly didn't allow dogs. Highlight of the trip was watching the courtship dance of two great blue herons, also another two herons building a giant nest waaay up a tree, an Osprey (I think), and lots of water fowl and turtles.

Reviewed by CC on 7/26/2008
Great hike! I went last December with my father, and the weather was perfect, the length of the hike was perfect, about 4 miles round trip, give or take. It's not very strenuous and it's not very steep either, it's a good hike for first time hikers.

Reviewed by Jeepergeo on 2/5/2008
This is a nice local, Inland Empire hike. It's a great winter hike because the elevations are low enough to avoid the snow and crummy weather common in the higher elevations this time of year. Our group of 8 Scouts and 6 adults hiked on 2/3/2008, starting at 8:15 am from Lot 12, hiking to the peak via the outdoor theater, and dropping down the mountain via the Visitor Center (watched movie there), and then back to the cars at Lot 12 by 1:00 pm. We covered ~ 7 miles per GPS. The trail is in fair condition: it's easy to get diverted to secondary tracks. We hauled out some trash from the top, but unfortunately, there is still more that needs to come out. Please help with this effort. BTW - The radio tower on the USGS map is gone

Reviewed by QZ on 12/22/2007
Took the trailhead at museum up to the summit. Coming down the other side of the loop, I somehow missed a tun and ended up in Moreno Valley at a gated community. Quite a nice hike though.

Reviewed by Dennis on 3/3/2006
The biggest obsticle was finding the trail! When you pull into the parking area for the amphitheatre, the trail starts up on the left side of the lot. If you walk up the path by the bathrooms toward the theater - you may get lost. The upwards climb was fairly gradual - with lots of spots to stop for photos. The decline seemed fairly steep for an old out of shape guy! Bring a walking stick. (the kids had NO issues up or down). If you are in a group - and not looking to get a certain distance under your belt (like a merrit badge req.) you may want to drop a car off at the Museum.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Riverside County Hiking, Riverside County Trails, Riverside County Hikes

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