Hidden among rock-studded hills, 11 miles south of Riverside, Lake Perris State Recreation Area’s 8,800 acres of broad valley are bounded on three sides by low ridges. The Bernasconi Hills and the Russell, Apuma and Armada Mountains obscure the view of nearby cities. Inland, the San Bernardino, San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains, snow-capped in winter months, stand tall in the distance. This area, with its varied terrain and habitats, is rich in a variety of wildlife. About 65 miles south of Los Angeles and 11 miles southeast of the city of Riverside, Lake Perris’s clean white beaches, enticing blue waters, and rocky Alessandro Island bring nearly one million visitors each year from surrounding communities. Activities in this popular park include fishing, water sports, bird watching, hiking, rock climbing, camping, horseback riding, and visiting the Ya’i Heki’ (pronounced yahee ehkey) Regional Indian Museum. Lake Perris has hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. Rainy weather is limited almost completely to the months between November and April. The area lies at a crossroads of weather influences. Coastal fog (and smog) comes from the west, while "Santa Anas"-strong, hot dry winds-come from the deserts to the east and northeast. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
I did this loop on a bicycle yesterday morning after tent camping the night before. Weather was nice and cool in the morning. Got to the mountain area where we saw climbers on the face. We kept going, walking up over the mountain trail to the side where the damn is. Cruised along the damn and around to the marina area. Took a short break and back to the camp site. It took us around 2 hours with a couple of breaks. I usually bring my horse to this area and use the horse trail just outside of the bike trail. If you are looking to hike this loop, I would suggest using the horse trail if you do not like walking on the asphalt bike trail. I'll be back to hike this next time.
Hiked this place back in Feb. 2, 2014, It was not possible to drive around the perimeter because they have closed road on the northeast. After hiking Terri Peak and Bernasconi Trails earlier that day; it was near sunset enjoyed the scenic drive. Although hiking completely around the Lake would have been ideal, because walking around any environment is truly the only way to experience any place, whether you’re in the wilderness or an urban space, would have to be another visit. There are campground around the Lake with plenty of picnic stations with trashcans, benches and public restrooms. The museum looks interesting from the exterior but was closed that day; it's the other place to visit to learn about the history and geology of the Lake. It was free that day to park and hike, but you can clearly see they charge admission to enter and standard rate would have been around $10/person.