Mount Rubidoux is west of downtown Riverside and is both a city park and a landmark. Open from dawn until dusk, the park covers 161 acres, has three and a half miles of paved roads, plus several hiking trails. There are several paved paths to the top of the 1337 foot high granite mountain with the longer one being about two and a half miles. Two of the main paths to the top are very pleasant and make for a paved rather easy hike to the top, and as a result you will notice, pretty quickly by the number of parents with infants and toddlers, that the hike is perfect for those parents with strollers.
Formerly called Pachappa by the Luiseno Native Americans, the mountain is today named after Louis Rubidoux, who established Rancho Rubidoux in 1847 and at one time owned the mountain, having purchased it in 1852. It is also home to the oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States. The service is held at dawn at the giant cross that sits on top of Mount Rubidoux. This giant cross, sitting on the summit, can be seen from the nearby highway and is dedicated to Junipero Serra. The Serra Cross was put in place on April 26th, 1907, and it was replaced with a new cross on April 14th, 1963. In April 1909, Jacob Riis, a friend of President Theordore Roosevelt, suggested holding the Easter Sunrise service at the top of the mountain, and on April 11th, 1909, it happened. For over a hundred years now, it has been held, sometimes hosting tens of thousands of attendees, reaching its highest total in the 1920s with crowds of over 30,000.
Mount Rubiodoux also is home to the World Peace Tower and Friendship Bridge, which was built in 1925 and is a replica of the bridge in Alcantara, Spain. It is dedicated to Frank A. Miller, a local millionaire, who at one time owned the Mission Inn. The bridge has the worlds "World Peace" written on it, while the tower looks sorta like some old style prison tower, almost like it contains a cell what with the heavy door on it and the bars on all the window openings. There's also a tiny turret across the path from the tower.
The plaque above the door of the tower tells of the tower and bridge's dedication:
Mount Rubidoux though has a sinister side, and there are many tales of the supernatural and paranormal. Beyond the traditional stories of ghosts haunting the mountainside at night, tall ghostly robed figures have been seen walking along the edge of the mountain. These figures have been described as eerily similar to the Dark Watchers that lurk in the mountains south of Monterey. They also bare some resemblance to the tales of equally tall robed figures that reside on Mount Shasta.
But the strange doesn't stop there. Shadow figures haunt the mountain along with the ghosts, and even demonic little elves or miniature demons get in on the act of tormenting hikers there. Small rocks and pebbles are rumored to be thrown at hikers by some unseen force. And at times these thrown rocks are attributed to these demonic elves, which also provide sinister cackles to accompany your hike. Most terrifying though is that something, again perhaps the demon elves, stack rocks into three pyramids on the trails right after the hikers pass. Hikers have turned around to see these pyramid piles formed behind them suddenly and mysteriously, their builders nowhere to be seen, and the speed with which it is done, impossible for mere mortals.
Besides ghosts, shadowy forces, strange tall robed beings, and demonic elves, there are some more mundane weirdness on the mountain. There are rumors of tunnels or possibly catacombs extending from the nearby Mission Inn all the way to Mount Rubidoux. Supposedly these tunnels date back to the days of the Prohibition and were used to smuggle alcohol, while others state they go off to a lost Chinatown. Some legends discuss an entire abandoned and buried downtown area from the late 1800s buried underground somewhere along these tunnels between Mount Rubidoux and the Mission Inn. Back at the Mission Inn, if these tunnels do exist, ghosts have been witnessed at the entrance, of course. The Mission Inn is also haunted, complete with a few haunted rooms for your stay. One of the inn's founders, Alice Miller, also haunts one of the rooms.
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- Security 1 of Cajon Pass , California on 2017-02-21 said:
- I worked security at the Mission Inn from 1982 to 1985 when the hotel was closed for restoration. Along the way I had the opportunity to explore almost all the tunnels from the Mission Inn outward.
When we were exploring the tunnel we only got as far as the cemetery. 2 Vaults (that you put coffins in), had fallen through the ceiling and the tunnel was not passable without moving the concrete vaults. We had a tunnel map and were able to explore the tunnel from the Mountain side down to the blocked passage way.
So I can affirm that the tunnel was there in 1982. If you know what you are looking at, there is a screened vent above the tunnel on a street corner near the cemetery.
- HAUNTED EMPIRE of Riverside, California on 2017-01-11 said:
- Every city has a certain amount of utility tunnels so that certain services can be supplied to different parts of the city and have access to repair if anything breaks. Now the Mission Inn use to provide steam to the businesses and courthouse so sure there are tunnels to access that and sure they go to other places but these tunnels vary from a small crawl space to one 5 feet wide or bigger. Just because a section is cut off to the public doesnt mean it is doing something illegal nor does it mean it is haunted. The problem is that the myths have been around for so long that people dont and wont believe anything other than their preconcieved notion. True Believer Syndrom where they will believe the myth or lie no matter how much information is provided to prove the contrary or physical evidence . Just like the story about Himlar and how to get the people to believe his lies. He told them well and convincing then he kept telling the same thing over and over until people became familiar with the story and not hearing anything else. The believed everything the Nazis had to say. So these debates will go on forever. No one will believe the others story. Sad how some people can not open there mind to the possibility that is was just a well told lie.
- RUDEDEEE of RUBIDOUX, CA on 2016-11-07 said:
- i have been observing and investigating the boulders at mt rubidoux and i see that a monuement was destroyed with tnt .something was destroyed because i see projectile impacts in the boulders and too mamny right angles in many boulders . its surpress history
- Mason of Riverside, CA on 2016-08-24 said:
- The old indians ran this mountain and have left clues and guides everywhere that when observed through educated eyes reveal all that is needed. A legit Treasure hunt adventure complete with puzzles and secret clues left behind by indians to decode. Frank miller simply connected the mission inn with tunnels made by the indians that had been around long before his time.....side note I've been climbing and exploring this mountain since day one and have always noticed that many of the large rocks look like skulls. I currently have around 16 arrowheads i found yesterday in a stash along with a solid quarts chunk that all have skulls on them including the quartz piece which consists of multiple skulls. I dont know what I'm getting into but as of yesterday I might be the only one who's made this far. Yes its real and the door everyones been searching for is alot larger than you'd imagine it to be. X marks the spot and i know that sounds cliche but with the right mind and right eye you will be guided. Not trying to seem all magical and what not. but ive put in too much personal time and hardwork along with mostly deadends and relentless doubt from others to just give you what ive worked so hard for. The crossing of the threshold will be documented via gropro. And will only be shown to those who ask about it in person. Don't know me? Find someone who does. Im a very nice person and will share what i know with anyone who takes the time to find me. :) have fun and be Happy!!!!!
- Bill Morrison of Woodstock, Georgia on 2016-01-16 said:
- Do you want my testimony, or not? I'll be serious if you are. I grew up around the Mission Inn and saw things that still make me wonder why they haven't been more commented upon. The old storefronts underneath, similar to those I later found in Atlanta before the Olympics, which used to be accessible from 2 Peachtree where you could see the old marble steps ascending to the financial temples/banks. When the Olympics came they sealed it off, and I understood...but I never understood why the ancient storefronts of Riverside remained unexplored. They seemed like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, caked with grime and yet charming in their commercial come-ons. Sweet, sick...very early California. I'd give anything to find that place again. I got to it by (around 1970) going through the kitchen, and then down. The storefront windows still bore the names of the businesses that had employed their inhabitants. I had to squeeze through a narrow gap beneath the kitchens to get there and, being as skinny as a scarecrow back then, it must have been a very narrow gap...but what I saw there, storefronts of what must have been early Riverside, have remained with me ever since. No marvels, just a three-dimensional freeze-frame view of what inland California looked like somewhere between (I can only guess) 1865-1935. It's still there - it just needs professional archaeologists to reveal its secrets.
- bob on 2015-09-11 said:
- china town was on the other side of the santa anna river,look up "wong way"
- Abby of Perris, California on 2015-06-01 said:
- I walked with my Family And felt pull and i turned around and there was nothing. i told my family and they said that The mt. is Haunted.
Then a few days later me and my sister went for a jog and it was 12:30 am in the night and Something threw a rock,and i ran for my LIFE! XD
- Vicky of Guerrero on 2015-02-08 said:
- I grew up in Riverside about 1 mile from Mt. Rubidoux and I go hiking there all the time. I have experienced rocks being "thrown" at me but I doubt it's ghosts or little elfs lol probably just little rocks falling from the mountain itself.
- Anthony of Riverside , CA on 2014-08-08 said:
- Oh my god! Just had a close friend tell me he remembers as a kid entering these secret tunnels and hidden passages. IT'S. TRUE! The tunnel ended at the old china town. I've heard about this myth myself. What a shocker tonight!
- Charlene Pedroley of prescott, az on 2014-02-01 said:
- I to lived in the area, Easter Sunday's were so cool, I have seen the entrance at the mission inn, west north corner, my sister fell in a man hole that was in front of the iron gates, her arms was the only thing that saved her. My mom and I were laughing so hard, my sister told me she was going to kick my a__, I said you are not in a position to kick my but. We road our dirt bikes all over Mt. Rubidoux and the boy scott camp which was donated by the Evans family. Beautiful area. Secret forts. Those were the days.
- steven of riverside, ca on 2013-04-29 said:
- in one of the towers there is a steel plate with a pad lock on it there's probably tunnels under there i also herd that the tunnels go all over the places and to peoples houses in fact i saw one of the tunnels in my great grandpas basement
- Dragger of Oceanside, California on 2012-01-29 said:
- I was born in the area and have been up and down that hill more times than I can remember.. Never once had "Little People" throw stones at me! Also doubt that there is a tunnel to the Mission Inn from the Tower. There was an extensive "Underground" that connected the old "China Town" with the Inn, that was complete with Opium dens, Booze stashes, and Whore Cribs under the city.Truth is that if there are any hills in the area that are "Spooky" they are on the other side of the river at the border with San Berdino Co. around the site of Agua Mansa, or the odd geo formations in the Crestmore area.
- Jen of Fontana, Ca on 2011-07-24 said:
- I go jogging there about 3 times a week, never had anything thrown at me or seen evil little people. Although have taken many pictures and in ever picture there is a green orb following through different parts of the mountain. The tower is also known to be a secret passage to The Mission in.. It is said to tunnel under the streets of Riverside to the iconic hotel where Al Capone had his booze delivered during prohibition
- nick chagolla of riverside, ca on 2010-05-20 said:
- Me and my friends went up mt. Rubidoux at about 230 am and my good friend took a picture of us and like a month later we noticed their was 2 ghosts like 10 feet behind us their was nobody on the mountain at all. When I seen the picture I was scared got chills all over.. you can tell they r not human form.. some kind of spirits are there... someone should investigate
- Richard Serros of Riverside, California on 2009-03-07 said:
- I have read this same story about the little people throwing rocks at passer byers. I myself have walked up this mountain and have yet to experience anything. But it would be really cool if it did.
- James Diaz of Hemet, California on 2008-10-22 said:
- I stopped a B&N store and bought Weird California. I read stuff about the hill and one part fascinated me about demonic midgets throwing stones and attack and hiker passing by during twilight.
- Weird California (2006) by Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle, Mike Marinacci, p: 14 - 15
Last Edited: 2020-09-19