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First Person Experience: Chino Hills State Park offers a variety of hikes and trails

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People hike on one of the 20 hiking trails at Chino Hills State Park on May 3. The Chino Hills State Park, located at 4721 Sapphire Rd, Chino Hills, offers a variety of trails with different difficulty levels and is open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. / photo by Melody Blazauskas

People hike on one of the 20 hiking trails at Chino Hills State Park on May 3. The Chino Hills State Park, located at 4721 Sapphire Rd, Chino Hills, offers a variety of trails with different difficulty levels and is open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. / photo by Melody Blazauskas

Angie Lopez-Yepes
Staff Writer

With over 20 trails with scenic views of the terrain and flowers in bloom, Chino Hills State Park offers a variety of workouts for those who prefer to exercise outdoors.

Having not been hiking for a while, my dog, TJ, and I were excited to try the Chino Hills trails.

I chose to take my chances when deciding on a trail, in hopes that I was on an easier one. I ended up choosing Upper Aliso Canyon Loop – which is 3.4 miles long – because of its pretty name.

Bright and early, 8:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday, the sun was already blazing on my face. Because the area is all trails and hills, there was little to no shade to hide from the sun. Luckily, I had my sunblock and a hat for TJ.

Walking up from the entrance was already tiring because the incline to the top was a mini hike in itself.

“I try to hike around in different places … it’s a really fun exercise,” said Fernando Herrera, a Chino Hills resident I met while walking up from the entrance.

Herrera said that he also likes that he can bike around the trails because it makes it more challenging. 

Even though the trail I took was not hard, there were some moments it got a little narrow.

Hiking for the first time at the state park, Tania Aviles, resident of Lynwood, said the only thing she did not like was the parking.

“I honestly regret paying for the parking, easily I could have parked outside and had an extra hike going to the actual trails,” said Aviles.

I met Aviles on my way to the trail, which was not really crowded except for the cars that passed by. 

I was pleased to see that more than half of the people hiking were wearing masks and if they did not, they were significantly distanced so I still felt safe.

When I first got there, there was a long line of cars. Instead of waiting to find out why all those cars were there, I parked in a nearby residential area. Later I found out that the long line of cars was families or hikers waiting park in the middle of the park, for hiking or staying at the camping grounds.

Parking inside the Chino Hills State Park is currently $5 for the whole day.

Unlike Aviles, Paul Ybanez, resident of Placentia, did not mind paying the $5 for an all day parking pass.

“I’m going to get here even earlier because the wait was the worst,” Ybanes said. 

I enjoyed the walk as I loved seeing all the tall, yellow flowers that covered the ground surrounding the trail.

With all the beauty of nature on this hike, beware of the rattlesnakes that have been commonly seen in the park, though  park employees and volunteers are prepared to return the snake to a more suitable location to live.

Sadly, I was not able to finish the trail because I could tell that TJ was too hot from the sun, and I did not want to burn her paws. However, I was almost able to finish hiking the 3.4 miles of the trail. I am excited to mark this location to bring other friends and family, along with TJ, to enjoy the freshness of nature.

The park is located at 4721 Sapphire Road and is open for everyone, daily, from sunrise to sunset with parking lots being operated from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Angie Lopez-Yepes can be reached at angie.lopezyepes@laverne.edu.

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