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Located just north of Yorba Linda, Chino Hills State Park is a 14,000-acre expanse nestled in the shadow of the Santa Ana Mountains. California golden poppies and phacelia minor blanket these rolling hills, providing endless inspiration for nature lovers and photographers.
Throughout the years, this vibrant green space has served many purposes. The Tongva tribe once passed through this area while gathering food. In the 18th century, the Spanish settled here, established a mission, and used the land to rear cattle. Oil tycoons purchased parcels of the land in the late 19th century and began mining for oil. Visitors can still see the remains of a barn, windmills, and ranch house left over from the Rolling M. Ranch, a 1,700-acre cattle farm built in 1948.
Today, Chino Hills protects an array of endangered bird species, including the coastal cactus wren and the California gnatcatcher. These are just two of the 200+ species of flora and fauna that nature enthusiasts might see while camping at Chino Hills State Park.
Looking to break away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle and stay a spell in nature? Book an RV in Orange County and start planning your great escape.
Kick off your RV camping trip with a visit to the Discovery Center and check out the interactive exhibits on the park's plants and animals. The kids in your crew might like to participate in the Junior Ranger program. They'll have tons of fun learning about all sorts of critters, from creepy crawlies to cougars. The Discovery Center also hosts regular events, like wildflower hikes and night hikes for a glimpse of the stars.
Speaking of hikes, Chino Hills is a haven for trailblazers, with more than 90 miles of trails open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. The Native Plant trail puts you up close with the park's famous wildflowers, making it a firm favorite for amateur and professional photographers alike. Take the Bane Canyon Loop Trail or the Little Canyon Loop for vistas of the rolling hills and mustard plants. You might even spot a lizard or one of the park's endangered birds along the way.
Wildlife watchers, pack your binoculars in the rental RV. Chino Hills is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the whole country. If you're lucky, you might see a bobcat, coyote, or mountain lion lurking in the grasslands. While out hiking, stay vigilant for snakes, particularly the Southern Pacific rattlesnake. Fortunately, this snake is the only venomous species living in the park. Burrowing owls, red-winged black birds, and golden eagles will be a treat for avid birders.
Park your rental motorhome at Chino Hills State Park's Rolling M. Ranch campground, featuring 20 primitive sites for tents and RVs. No hookups or dump stations are available here, but you'll enjoy the standard amenities you'd expect from a state park RV campground. These include restrooms, showers, fire rings, picnic tables, and grills. The maximum length for RV rentals is 28 feet.
The road leading to the campground is narrow and may be difficult for trailers to maneuver. Sites are paved but may not be level as the campground is situated on a hill. However, if you can cope with these minor inconveniences, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the hills right from your site.
Your dog is allowed to tag along for your motorhome camping trip, as long as they stay on a leash and off the trails. Guests are advised to reserve their site in advance.
The Fullerton Arboretum in Yorba Linda should be your first stop after you've wrapped up your RV camping trip at Chino Hill State Park. Located on the California State University campus, these gardens contain more than 4,000 fruit and vegetable plants, as well as endangered and threatened species.
Prado Regional Park in Chino is an excellent place to camp in an RV near Chino Hills State Park. The park's campground comes equipped with full hookups and spaces for big rigs. You can do a whole lot more than camp at this 2,000-acre park. Indulge in a little disc golf, try your luck reeling in a catfish at the 60-acre lake, or beat the heat at the water park.
Venture southwest of Chino Hills State Park to Anaheim, considered the theme park capital of SoCal. Treat the kids to a day at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, or Adventure City. If you're craving a little time on the California coast, make the 40-minute drive southwest to Newport Beach or Huntington Beach. Cast your line of the Huntington Beach Fishing Pier, or let your dog run wild at the Huntington Dog Beach.
If you need gas, groceries, or camping supplies, head south of the park to find several gas stations along Highway 91. Once you've filled your tank, fill your belly at one of the gourmet restaurants in Yorba Linda or Anaheim. I-5 will take you south toward San Diego or northwest toward the City of Angels.