The Hurkey Creek hiking trail is one of the most popular among both hikers and bikers in the Southern California area. Although the three-mile trip through the San Jacinto Wilderness area is mostly wooded, the woods are thin, and you will get plenty of sun too, so make sure you use some sunscreen. Most of the trail is dirt, and in some areas is desert, and there are downed trees and large rocks to climb over.
To get to the trailhead, start at Hurkey Creek Park off highway 74, which is four miles from Mountain Center, California. You can bring your fur baby, but do use a leash of six feet or less in length at all times. There is a fee of $6 per adult and $2 per dog for day use, and parking is free. Bring enough water for you and your furbaby, and clean up bags.
The first thing you will notice on the trail is the San Jacinto Mountains, which you can see from just about everywhere along the path. These pawesome views make for some incredible photographs while hiking. The path meanders along the Hurkey Creek, and when it is full, you can hear the gentle bubbling as the water flows over the rocks.
Around one mile in, you and your pup will be passing a lot of giant granite boulders that you and he may want to climb on to get a better view of the surrounding area. The trail gradually inclines, but it is minor. There are many other trails you will pass, and you may even end up on one if your phone loses service, because the signage is practically non-existent.
However, no matter whether you accidentally veer off onto another path or not, you will enjoy the smell of the pine trees and small dots of color during the spring when the wildflowers are blooming. Also, you will probably see some fur-iendly wildlife like rabbits, squirrels, and even foxes and coyotes, but do not feed them or let your pup chase them. You'll eventually end up back at the Hurkey Creek Park, and will undoubtedly want to come back again and again.