Downtown Riverside at sunset

2008 - Downtown Riverside
2008 – View looking east toward downtown Riverside from atop Mount Rubidoux just prior to sunset. In the immediate background is Box Springs Mountain with the San Bernardino Mountains looming in the distance.

Situated approximately 1 mile west of downtown Riverside is Mount Rubidoux, a small but impressive hill overlooking the city. Rising 1,364 feet above sea level, the rocky hill gets its name from Jurupa Rancho owner Louis Robidoux (note the different spelling) who settled in the area during the mid-1800s.

2008 - Mount Rubidoux
2008 – Mount Rubidoux

In 1906, Mount Rubidoux was acquired by Frank A. Miller of the Mission Inn. A year later, Miller and railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington partnered up to build two, single-lane roads allowing for motorized vehicles to traverse the summit.

Atop the summit sits the Serra Cross, placed in honor of Father Junipero Serra who is credited with founding the California Missions. The cross is the site of the nation’s oldest continuing outdoor Easter Sunrise service, which began in 1909.

Also located on the mountain is the World Peace Tower and Friendship Bridge, erected in 1925 to honor Frank Miller. Miller, who co-founded the Institute of World Affairs (later to become the World Affairs Council), was a staunch advocate for world peace. As such, Miller’s connections brought the likes of President Taft and social activist Booker T. Washington to Riverside, both of whom made the trek up Mount Rubidoux.

In 1955, the Miller family deeded the entire park to Riverside. The original wooden cross was replaced with a cement version in 1963.

Although severe rains during the 1990s washed out parts of both roads forcing their closure, the granite outcropping remains a favorite recreational activity for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists alike.


Sources: The Press-Enterprise archives, Friends of Mount Rubidoux

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