Exciting Wildwood Canyon in Yucaipa

Escaping the Palm Springs heat was like escaping a hot potato, so we bolted for Yucaipa’s Wildwood Canyon, a mere 30-mile sprint away. Our hopes for cooler weather were met with a blissful drop from 90-degree oven temps to a refreshing 60-degree chill, leaving us scratching our heads over the right attire for this impromptu adventure. But hey, who needs fashion when you’ve got nature, right?


Upon arrival at the parking lot (which, by the way, was easier to spot than a cactus in the desert), we encountered a local legend—a veteran citizen who’d been dwelling in these parts for over two decades. He graciously bestowed upon us the sacred wisdom of the area, guiding us towards trails less traveled and vistas more spectacular.

Our chosen path? The Water trail, promising a 3-mile round trip that seemed like child’s play compared to the scorching inferno we had just escaped. Sneaking past the closed gate like rebellious explorers, we ventured forth onto the dusty trail, flanked by towering trees and eager shrubs vying for their moment in the sun.

As we trekked onward, we stumbled upon what we initially mistook for a quaint village or a bustling farm. Alas, our hopes were dashed as we drew nearer, realizing these were the remnants of a bygone era—abandoned homesteads and rusted relics of a time when this land teemed with life. Cue the spooky vibes and my wife’s inevitable inquiry about the ghostly inhabitants lurking in the shadows. (Note to self: pack extra ghost repellent next time.)

Abandoned Area

Undeterred by the eerie ambiance, we pressed on, passing by rusted fences and decrepit machinery that looked like it would crumble at the slightest touch. Crossing a gate-like structure (or was it a portal to another dimension?), we ascended the hill, gazing out over the majestic canyon below, where critters of all shapes and sizes frolicked in nature’s playground.

At the summit, we were greeted by living, breathing homes with barking dogs and frolicking horses, a stark contrast to the desolate relics below. After a brief respite to soak in the scenery (and catch our breath), we began our descent—a gravity-fueled joyride down the hillside, where the only thing keeping us from hurtling headlong into the abyss was sheer willpower and some seriously grippy shoes.

All in all, Wildwood Canyon proved to be a hidden gem—a sanctuary of serenity amidst the chaos of civilization. As we bid adieu to this oasis of tranquility, we vowed to return, armed with bug spray for the poison ivy and a healthy respect for the park’s resident ghosts. After all, who knows what other mysteries await in the heart of Yucaipa’s wilderness?

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