Major League Dreams

Hike North Etiwanda Preserve at the foot of the San Gabriels

Hike the North Etiwanda Preserve at the foot of the San Gabriels.

With the 2020 World Series underway, right off the bat we recognize that it's hard work for players to make it to the "big show." Visit one of the Dodgers’ minor league stadiums, in Rancho Cucamonga, after taking in a bit of the city’s history and natural beauty on a 3.25-mile (round-trip) hike through the North Etiwanda Preserve at the foot of the San Gabriels.

Park in the designated gravel lot at the end of Etiwanda Drive and find the trailhead behind the gate at the north end of the parking area. Take a picture of the map, which notates all the interpretive sites you will visit, before starting on the gradually ascending dirt trail. You’ll shortly reach a kiosk overlooking the valley that not only provides shade (be prepared and plan accordingly: this hike is exposed!), but multiple signs detailing the history, flora, and fauna of the preserve. 

As you begin the climb (elevation gain is over 500 feet), you will pass the remnants of a water delivery system before you reach a three-way junction. The trail ascending north heads to the primary reason folks come here—the falls—and the path to the left continues your loop. First, head right to check out a Native American interpretive site. Return to the loop and keep west, eventually passing a surprise riparian environment and a bridge that leads you to yet another site, this time early settler ruins (and another great spot for a break).

Hike through the North Etiwanda Preserve at the foot of the San Gabriels

The trail continues northwest, with clear views of the towering peaks—the most prominent is, of course, Mount Baldy, the highest peak in LA County. Pass interpretive signs detailing the agricultural history and an antique pumping station. Soon the trail sharply turns to the south as you pass a dam; straight ahead is a panoramic viewing area, which boasts two pine trees and an incredibly expansive view of the valley. Helpful signs also point out landmarks in each direction! When you’re ready, return to the trail, which descends quickly (look for a cool boardwalk viewing area) and eventually turns left, taking you back to the lot.

Bonus Wine & Baseball: Now it’s time to do a local stop before taking yourself out to the ballgame. We know beer goes with baseball, but continue your historical tour of the Cucamonga Valley with a stop at Joseph Filippi Winery. One hundred years ago, the valley used to be a haven for vineyards, and the staff here can teach you about the interesting history while pouring you a large variety of local wine. We like the White Mourvèdre and Sangiovese (red) for sipping at their charming outdoor patio spaces. You can also walk around the grounds and check out their creative planting of vineyards before heading to the nearby ballpark.

LoanMart Field Dodgertown

Park at the adjacent strip mall (the lot is closed during the off-season though there is some street parking) and walk a few hundred feet south to LoanMart Field—you can’t miss the big lights and stadium scoreboard. Take time to explore the grounds or even play some catch outside of the stadium that hosts the Single-A (minor league) Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, whose roster once boasted current Dodger all-stars Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager (look for their pictures!). Major league dreams do come true.

To get to the North Etiwanda Preserve lot and trailhead, take the I-210 to the Day Creek Blvd. exit and head north. After 1 mile, take a right on Wilson and after 0.5 mile, turn left onto Etiwanda Ave. The lot and trailhead are at the end of the road. No dogs.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Two women at the entrance of the Lavender Labyrinth at Bees N Blooms in Santa Rosa

    Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.

  2. Can't Top This

    San Francisco’s Presidio was already a fantastic place to hang out for the afternoon, a beautiful site within the largest urban national park in the United States (the Golden Gate National Recreation Area). And the new Presidio Tunnel Tops is like a cherry on top. Tunnel Tops is just as it sounds: a park on top of tunnels! Presidio Parkway tunnels to be precise.

  3. You Know Kehoe?

    Hiking with your dog in a national park? Almost unheard of! But Point Reyes National Seashore has an easy and short hiking trail to a stunning beach that’s dog-friendly on its north side. Kehoe Beach is a beautiful place to hang out even if you don’t have a dog.

  4. Little Hike in the Big Woods

    Redwoods, river crossings, waterfalls, and wildflowers—the South Bay’s Portola Redwoods State Park packs a lot of nature’s best features. Enjoy them hiking this 2.5-mile loop.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Flavors of Fillmore

    Fill up on Fillmore! This picturesque city in the Santa Clara River Valley is an ideal day trip for finding good nature and delicious locally grown food. Explore it all via a 5-mile out-and-back walk or bike ride.

  2. Sponsored

    Sea It All This Spring!

    Go deeper on your next adventure! Monterey Bay Aquarium allows you to go Into the Deep. Be mesmerized by the flashy, iridescent, and adorable creatures in the ever-evolving, fully bilingual exhibit

  3. Peak a-’bu

    Summiting Sandstone Peak is a premier 6-mile (round-trip) classic adventure delivering a dramatic, ever-changing landscape and some of Southern California’s most cinematic views.

  4. Do it Yourself Walking Tour of Solvang

    Solvang has long been described as a “little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Experience the historic village on a 3-mile walk that explores the architecture, food, wine, and green space.