A Day At Mt. Rubidoux

MOUNT RUBIDOUX, RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA

Standing as a picturesque sentinel over the City of Riverside, Mount Rubidoux is a beautiful destination welcoming all people from history buffs to hikers of all ability levels. The 1339 foot peak offers 3.5 miles of paved and dirt hiking trains, several historic landmarkers, wildflowers, a Cross dedicated to Father Junipero Serra and even a dog park for 4-legged visitors. Mount Rubidoux is the site of the oldest outdoor non-denominational Sunrise Service in the United States and each Easter hundreds of people gather at the foot of the cross to greet the often spectactular sunrise. The mount has had several names; the most recent is the Frank A. Miller Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park which was donated to the City of Riverside in 1955 by the heirs of Frank A. Miller. Previously the land had been the property of (among others) Louis Rubidoux and Benjamin Davis Wilson, the second elected mayor of Los Angeles.

Offering an “easy” hiking experience, the main trail is paved to the top; however no motor vehicles are permitted these days. In 1909, President William Taft was driven up the road to the peak to dedicate a plaque memorializing the cross at the top and dedicating it to Father Serra. President Taft’s well-known weight problem prevented him from even getting out of the car and he pulled a cord to unveil the plaque. Another well-known visitor was TV personality Huell Howser who did a documentary piece in 2002 on the location for public television. There are also tales of hauntings and paranormal happenings witnessed by some people interested in those activities. Mount Rubidoux and the cross are maintained by non-profit organizations formed by citizen volunteers determined to preserve this historical landmark which is open to, and enjoyed by, the public all through the year.