Mount Rubidoux

It was too hot to go all the way to the top of Mount Rubidoux yesterday. I got a little more than halfway up, and then stopped caring about actually reaching the top. It was over 90° by midmorning, and there were lots of things I could think of to do, way more compelling than a walk in the sun, uphill!

So I got up earlier today, and it was cooler, and I went the rest of the way up – and I was rewarded with a beautiful bright blue sky, and some pretty clouds – it was well worth it!

Mount Rubidoux / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Mount Rubidoux / Photo: Cheryl SpeltsMount Rubidoux Bridge / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

I love the plaque on the tower/bridge – even if there was no date on it, you would know it was circa 1925, just by the art deco stylized lettering. It’s an absolutely perfect example of high art deco, and reads, “Peace with Justice for All Men. Anno Domini 1925. This bridge was built by neighbors and friends of Frank Agustus Miller, in recognition of this constant labor in the promotion of civic beauty, community righteousness, and world peace.”

Frank Miller was the second owner of Mount Rubidoux, along with Henry Huntington. The first owner, in the mid-1800s was Louis Robidoux – note Robidoux, not Rubidoux, as it’s spelled today. Miller, of the Mission Inn, and Huntington, a railroad magnate, bought the hill in the early 1900’s, in order to develop the land around it – as a housing development. There’s a spot dedicated to Huntington as well, but it’s not as interesting as Miller’s dedication.

Mount Rubidoux / Photo: Cheryl SpeltsRunning on The Mount / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

I was fascinated by the number of people pushing strollers up and down the hill, with one or two children in them, while running. It’s a three mile loop, if you do the whole thing, and at least half of that is uphill, so pushing a stroller would really make it a workout – and lots of people do it. The other popular thing to do is to bring a dog or two, on a leash, while carrying a couple of the blue plastic “doggie” bags that are provided at the start of the trail.

Cross on Mount Rubidoux / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

The cross at the very tip-top of the mountain. The first cross was erected on the spot soon after Miller and Huntington bought the property, and one has stood there ever since. It’s dedicated to Father Junipero Serra, one of the founders of several of the California missions.

The first Easter sunrise service was held here in 1909 – and they still happen today – and in fact, the Mount Rubidoux Easter Service is generally considered the longest-running outdoor Easter service in the United States. I blogged about it in May of 2008.

The tiny dark dot at the base of the cross is actually a guy sitting with his back to the cross. Up on top of the world, it’s a good place to think.

Looking west, toward Jurupa and Rubidoux, and the Santa Ana River / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

The view, looking west, toward Jurupa and Rubidoux, and the Santa Ana River. The top of the mount is exactly 500 feet above the banks of the Santa Ana River below.

View of Downtown Riverside / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

And the view to the east – Downtown Riverside, including the historical cemetery on the bottom left.

Blue Flowers / Photo: Cheryl Spelts

And finally I’ll end with something floral – I just can’t resist the lure of blue flowers, first thing in the morning!

17 Replies to “Mount Rubidoux”

  1. Hi Cheryl – Your pictures are gorgeous and as a Brooklynite I especially need to see pictures like this. And thank you so much for your nice words about my Cranky blog! I know it is hard to believe the things actors actually go through, but I swear every word is true-not kidding. It is the sad but true truth.

  2. beautiful work, and what a nice day it must’ve been in riverside. did you enhance the sky somehow?

    i love the top one especially.

    signed,
    the person who used to own raincross.net

  3. Hi, Im’ a 58 year old Washington state resident who used to live in S. Cal. Lots of nostalgia and memories for me connected with Mt. R and Fairmount Park………..Thanks.

  4. Stumbled on your work during a search for images of San Jacinto, California. I am a Riverside native, and I wanted to complement you on the shots of and from Mt. Rubidoux. Quite impressive.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Hi Cheryl,
    First off, I have to tell you I was BLOWN away by your first picture of Mount Rubidoux! I am a representative of the management team at Canyon Crest Athletic Club in Riverside, CA. We are a small privately owned fitness center and we are currently undergoing a major remodel. We will be adding a NEW Group Fitness room and a New Spin Room too! We want to do a mural on the back wall of the spin room and I have been looking all over for a picture of clouds or landscape etc, but everything was of places in other areas. I really wanted something local since we are a small local club in Riverside. Your picture is PERFECT for what we want to do. I was hoping to reach out to you and hope to be able to get a High Resolution image of the photo, so that we can have it blown up and use it as our mural 😉 Please let me know if this would be possible, we would love to be able to feature a local artist too!
    Thanks,
    Scott

  6. Hey Cheryl,

    It was my Dad and Navy who put the cross on the mountain on his birthday March 5, 1963.
    US airship #1871. Notice how the flag is a little lower on the mountain? The only time our flag was above the Cross is when it was installed. On the Search & Rescue helicopter. “WE never save anything for the way back”.

  7. The Pictures were beatiful. Interesting that someone said their dad put the cross up. Actually My dad was the pilot of the Navy Helicopter (7187) out of Los Alamitos (still have the news articles) . Im kind of interested in the connection though. I understand that there is a group, Americans United for seperation of Church and state, which is trying to have the cross removed

  8. I read about that too Steve, and in fact the Riverside City Council is meeting tomorrow to discuss selling the land the cross sits on, in order to avoid the potential lawsuit. The big problem with just selling that little half-acre of land, is that it must be sold for fair market value and the city can’t favor a bidder who plans to keep the cross in place – so it would have to sell the highest bidder, even if that bidder planned to remove the cross – which sort of defeats the purpose of selling! So if the city does decide to go that route, I really hope the local churches can come together and raise enough cash to pay over the market value – just in case!

    For more information, the Press Enterprise ran an article on Friday, and there’s a Group on Facebook for Mount Rubidoux!

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