United States

Riverside-San Bernardino, CA

A guide to running in the Inland Empire area, including Riverside, San Bernadino, and Ontario. See Our Separate Guide for Palm Springs

Flickr: Don Graham

Riverside and San Bernardino are the anchor cities of the Inland Empire, a metro area adjacent to coastal California with a population of nearly 5 million. The valley is generally dry, a mix of agricultural land, scrub, and desert, surrounded by rugged mountains. The landscape can look green in winter and brown in summer. The options for running in Riverside-San Bernardino are somewhat limited to some small parks and multi-use trails. Just outside the cities, though, are some scenic trail running options in the hills, with options for all abilities.

The best spot for a longer, easier, off-road run in the area is the Santa Ana River Trail, a section of which runs between Riverside and San Bernardino. Another favorite place to run in Riverside is a series of parks anchored by Mt. Rubidoux, including an optional climb to its summit. Then best on-road running option in the area is historic, tree-canopied Victoria Ave. There’s some scenic trail running just east of Riverside in the Box Springs Mountain Reserve Park, Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, and some trails in the UC Riverside campus. In the San Bernardino area, there’s the Orange Blossom multi-use path in Redlands. The San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary is one of our favorite options for an easier, scenic trail run. Other good options are the South Hills Preserve and the Herngt ‘Aki’ Preserve.

Runners should note the terrain here is open and often offers little shade. Also, it can be very hot in summer, especially in the valley.

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Some of our favorite runs in Riverside-San Bernardino, CA

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The Riverside-San Bernardino area has a desert/Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers, and mild winters with some rain. There’s almost no precipitation from May-September, and summer high temperatures average in the mid-90sF (35C). However, nights cool into the low 60s!  In winter, daytime temperatures are comfortably in the high 60sF (20C), but bring a layer, as nights cool to the low 40s (5C). Most of the 8-10 inches of annual rainfall occurs from December to April, though there are large seasonal variations. Note: the surrounding mountains are cooler and wetter, with snow in winter.

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RUNNING STORES

The main independent running store in the area is The Running Center, located in Redlands.

GROUP RUNS

Group Runs Thursdays 5:30 p.m. from the Running Center store. Info