Bedford Road is a good condition fireroad that starts in Corona and ascends the central northern flanks of the Santa Ana Mountains. It provides closer access to Santiago Peak for residents of the Inland Valley Empire. Along it's winding route are Modjeska Peak and Bald Peak. This route is good for hiking, mountain biking, and motorized vehicles with good clearance. Watch out especially for dirt bikes as there are many blind corners. The Bedford and Main Divide Roads are full of turnouts, so to shorten the hike or ride it would be easy to do. Just park along the road and place your adventure pass in the windshield.
Take I-15 to the city of Corona and exit at Weirick Road. Turn right at the end of the off ramp and turn left onto Knabe Road. Drive about a 1/2 mile where on your right you'll see a truck yard. Just north of this fenced in yard you'll see a narrow road. You'll see a sign that says Bedford Motorway, turn right here.
Route Description to Bald Peak
Driving on Bedford Road you'll pass through a new housing developement and golf course. After about 2 miles you'll pass a gate with a sign reading 4S03, this is Bedford Road. At a little over 6 miles from the start of the Bedford Road you will reach the Main Divide Road. Turn left and continue for a little over a mile. At this point the Main Divide Road makes a 90 degree turn to the south, the peak overlooking this turn is Bald Peak. From the turnout at the base of the peak there is a steep firebreak that leads quickly up to the open summit.
Roundtrip for Bald Peak is 14 miles and +3000 feet of gain.
Route Description to Modjeska Peak
From Bald Peak continue south along the Main Divide Road for about 2.5 miles where you will reach a junction with Maple Springs Road. Keep to the left and continue 1.75 miles to you reach a turnoff on the left that leads up to the summmit of Modjeska. The road to the summit area is quite rugged and overgrown. It is about 1.5 miles round trip on road and use trail to the summit.
Roundtrip from here is about 24 miles and +4600 feet of gain.
Route Description to Santiago Peak
From the summit of Modjeska Peak head back down to the turn-off. From the turnoff it is about 3 miles to the summit of Santiago via the Main Divide Road. A parking area is on the summit of Santiago. It is just short of the true highpoint. The highpoint is at the south end of the tower complexes. Look for a large tower, there is many up there. A little rock outcrop is just south of the tower. Survey markers, a register, and old fire lookout mounts are to be found on this outcrop.
For Santiago Peak alone the roundtrip would be atleast 29 miles with around +5000 feet of gain. Add in Modjeska Peak and it would be atleast 30.5 miles and +5500 of gain.
For hiking and biking you are going to need a lot of water and sun protection. The entire route is without shade. Trekking poles would make it much easier as the miles wear on. For vehicles you are going to want all the usual backcountry items like extra water and a spare tire. The route if far from a vehicle services.
When you first turn onto the Bedford Motorway it is signed as "private" but not restricted. After passing in a tunnel under the development's main road, there are signs that say "authorized vehicles only". You pass a large gated house and then there is a "private property, no trespassing" sign. At 2 miles is a sign specifying typical rules for public use, such as licensed vehicles only, which seems to indicate that the public is expected. The Cleveland National Forest web site lists the Bedford Road as open. I saw several other vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles on the road and I went with the interpretation that the public was "authorized" and the "private property" refered to the land along the road.
The Maple Springs Road was open to vehicles.
Posted Dec 10, 2010 6:45 pm
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