OverviewThe Crafton Hills are an island of low hills tucked between Mentone and Yucaipa, CA. This is a great place to hike in the wintertime when the higher mountains in the San Bernardino Range are snow-covered. The hills do occasionally get snow themselves, but more often than not are snow-free. In the springtime after Southern California has gotten a few good winter rains the Crafton Hills turn a brilliant shade of green and wildflowers are abundant. A multitude of trails wind through oak-filled canyons and high along chaparral-covered ridgelines. Wildlife is abundant including raptors, songbirds, squirrels, deer, bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions. The views of the higher peaks including Morton, Keller, San Bernardino, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto are incredible!
Zanja Peak is the highest peak in the Crafton Hills at 3,543 feet. There are several trails leading to its summit.
The Crafton Hills were created by about ten active normal dip-slip faults collectively called the Crafton Hills fault zone or the Crafton Hills Horst-and-Graben Complex which stretches between the San Jacinto fault and the San Andreas Fault. When you look to the north from the northern side of the hills you can see where the San Andreas cuts a line between the hills and the San Bernardino Mountains and then follow the line southeast out towards Oak Glen or northwest out towards Highland and Cajon Pass.
The Crafton Hills were named after Crafts Ranch which was established in the area around 1861 by George Crafts. Crafton Hills is also home to Crafton Hills College and the Crafton Reservoir, which supplies Crafton and Redlands with water.
The Crafton Hills Open Space Conservancy (CHOSC) strives to protect in perpetuity the natural environment of the area for its significant watershed, ecological and aesthetic values, and other benefits to the public interest. Since 1992, CHOSC has preserved more than two thirds of the 4500 acres through acquisition and cooperative management with San Bernardino County, Crafton Hills College, and the Cities of Redlands and Yucaipa.
East of San Bernardino and Redlands, take Yucaipa Blvd off of I-10 and go north. Turn left on Oak Glen Road. Near Yucaipa Regional Park are several trailheads. There are also trailheads near Crafton Hills College off of Sand Canyon Road.
Link to a trail map of Crafton Hills
No permits are needed to hike in the Crafton Hills. Campfires and camping are not allowed. Pets are allowed on a leash.
Trails in the Crafton Hills are used by hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists.
Please practice Leave No Trace ethics.
You can camp at nearby Yucaipa Regional Park. Campsites are $20/night and there are a wide variety of facilities.
The nearest Forest Service Campgrounds are up on Hwy 38 near Barton Flats.
External LinksCrafton Hills Open Space Conservancy
Weather forecast for Yucaipa, CA
Crafton Hills Aerial View
Crafton Hills Fault Zone
Zanja Peak Trail Project