Our goal.

Our First Hike up to Terri Peak at Lake Perris in Riverside County

My wife and I drove out to the Lake Perris State Recreation Area over the weekend to hike up to Terri Peak. We learned about this hike from a tip on Facebook (find more places to hike). At a height of 2,569 feet (per the official brochure), Terri Peak overlooks Lake Perris and offers views in all directions.

Terri Peak as viewed from the entrance to the horse camp.

According to the map you receive from the guard station, there are two trailheads to reach Terri Peak. One begins at the Indian Museum near the Perris entrance and the other begins at a parking lot near the Moreno Valley entrance. We planned to start the hike at the museum, but the parking lot was closed so we headed to the parking lot near the Horse Camp. That lot was closed too, so we parked on the side of the dirt road that leads to the Horse Camp.

Dirt Road leading to the horse camp.

We found a paved trail leading up from the parking lot, so we started there.

Paved trail to the amphitheater

The trail leads to an amphitheater, but we didn’t see an obvious trail leading toward the mountain. We walked back to the parking lot and started walking up a dirt trail, but that also led to the amphitheater.

Dirt trail from the parking lot.

Dirt trail from the parking lot.

The amphitheater.

The only clearly marked trail that we found led in the opposite direction. We decided to see if it would wrap around and take us in the right direction.

The long way.

The trail met with another trail that headed in the right direction, so we kept going.

Our goal.

We ended up wrapping back around to the top of the amphitheater and found the overgrown trail we should have taken.

Trail from the amphitheater.

After a little more walking, we also learned that we could have just walked straight up the road we parked on instead of walking over to the parking lot to find the trailhead.

The water tower at the top of the road leading to the horse camp.

Once we were on the trail, it was pretty easy to follow, although there were still some spots that were obscured by brush.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

Terri Peak Trail - from the horse camp side.

This appeared to be the tip-top, so I climbed up to take a look (Caution: I don’t recommend climbing up. A fall could have been disastrous.):

This appeared to be the tip-top of Terri Peak (I don't recommend climbing up here. A fall could have been disastrous.)

Standing on the tip-top of Terri Peak. (I don't recommend climbing up here. A fall could have been disastrous.)

I would love to hike this again on a clear day…

Lake Perris as seen from Terri Peak.
Box Springs Mountain is visible from Terri Peak.
March Air Reserve Base as seen from Terri Peak.
Lake Perris Fairgrounds as seen from Terri Peak.

It was a fun hike, and in addition to the views, we saw a few critters and a lot of flowers:

Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.
Views from the Terri Peak trail.

We also saw Kid Rock:

Kid Rock on the Terri Peak trail.

According to my Garmin, it was 2.37 miles from the parking lot to Terri Peak with a gain of 991 feet. We didn’t set a speed record, as we took our time to enjoy the scenery and take pictures.

The route we took to Terri Peak.

Since some portions of the trails were overgrown, we missed the beginning of the hike from the amphitheater, but you can clearly see the route we would have taken by zooming in to the old satellite image.

The route we missed from the amphitheater.

Lake Perris is in Perris, CA, which is in Riverside County. If you would like to learn more about Terri Peak or Lake Perris, here is the official website:

www.parks.ca.gov

Looking for more hiking spots in and around the Inland Empire? Check out our list of Places to Hike in Riverside and Beyond.

Lake Perris State Recreation Area
17801 Lake Perris Drive
Perris, Ca 92571

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