Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is a recreational park in Southern California that contains the 250 acre Puddingstone Reservoir. This park provides countless recreational activities for those that love the outdoors. On any given day you can see boaters, kayakers, mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, and beach goers. The Bonelli Park Trail loops around the perimeter of the reservoir and is the feature of this guide.
Directions And GPS Tracks:
- To hike the Bonelli Park Loop Trail, drive to 1925 McKinley Ave # H, La Verne, CA 91750 at Bracket Field Airport and park in the lot outside of Norm’s Hangar Coffee Shop. Make sure to use these directions because if you just type Borelli Park into Google Maps, you’ll end up at the Via Verde entrance on the Southwest side of the park. You can still reach the trail from here, but you’ll have to pay $11 for parking.
- Download GPX
- See track on Strava
- View Bonelli Park Trail map
- Distance: 7 miles
- Elevation Gain: 590 ft
- Minimum Elevation: 864 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 1100 ft
- Time: 2 hours
- Difficulty: (1/5)
- Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash
- Permit Required: No
- Park Hours: Sunrise to 7PM October to March, Sunrise to 9PM April to September
- Parking: Free from Brackett Airport, $11 from Bonelli Park
- Trail Condition: Single track, fire road, asphalt
- Cell Phone Reception: Very good
Make sure to hike with the right gear. See my current hiking gear list.
Hike Map And Elevation Profile:
0.0 Miles- Starting on McKinley Dr in front of Bracket Field, walk west toward Bonelli Park. After 0.4 miles of walking on the road you’ll see the trailhead. Pass through and begin the Bonelli Park Trail. You’ll see an RV park to the left of the trail. Once you have completed your loop hike, you will finish by passing through the RV park to return to McKinley Rd.
The Bonelli Park Trail starts out along a fence and then passes through a shaded area that runs along a creek. Keep an eye out for mountain bikers, as they can come flying around the blind turns here.
0.9 Miles- The trail hits an eroded wash, turn right and walk until the trail dead ends at a developed lunch and picnic area. Go right again when you see the picnic area and the concrete walkway will spit you out near Puddingstone Dr. Don’t walk all the way out to the street though. A trail runs parallel to Puddingstone Dr. on the park side of the road.
1.2 Miles- Just before reaching Puddingstone Dr., you’ll see a dirt trail that runs parallel to the road on the park side of the street. Go left and follow the trail west.
1.8 Miles- The trail passes over a few access roads before bringing hikers in for a view close to the shores of the Puddingstone Reservoir at Ski Beach. At this point the trial runs very close to the waters and parallels a shoreline walkway. There is a stairway that leads down to the beach if you want to stop and take in the views.
After leaving Ski Beach the trail leaves the shores to wrap up and around the powerboat launching area. This section of trail is fairly close to the road, but not for long.
2.4 Miles- The trial heads away from the reservoir, passes through a few gates, and crosses Lakeside Dr. Look for the trail to pick up right on the other side of Lakesde Dr.
After crossing Lakeside Dr, you catch a glimpse of the waterslides at the nearby Raging Waters theme park. This is also where the trail can get a little confusing from a lack of markers. You’ll be able to see the reservoir walls up ahead though. As long as you’re heading in that direction, you’re on the right path.
2.9 Miles- There is a set of stairs at the base of the reservoir wall that leads up to Lakeside Dr. Walk past the stairs and you’ll see the trail pick back up. In the photo above, the trail picks up in the shaded area at the base of the reservoir wall.
Once you reach Lakeside Dr. you can walk south for 0.5 miles on the asphalt road with views of the reservoir to your left.
3.5 Miles- You’ll reach Sailboat Cove and see a ticket booth in the middle of the road. You can follow this road or pick up the trail on the left hand side.
3.7 Miles- Stay vigilant here. If you’re not paying attention you’ll walk straight into the cove! To your right the trail picks up on the right hand side of the road. This junction is only marked with a cone. This section is called Lake View Trail.
4.3 Miles- You’ll pass through the parking area for the South Shore. This is a popular area for beachgoers in the warmer months. You’ll also see a playground up ahead and an area called Picnic Valley. Follow the trail along the water until you see a bridge. Cross over the bridge.
4.5 Miles- Once you’ve crossed over the bridge, you’ll be on a paved road that leads all the way back to the RV Park and the trailhead from where you started. To make things a little more interesting, take the Tree Line Trail that begins just on the other side of the bridge.
The reason I suggest the Tree Line Trail is that it provides the best views of the Puddingstone Reservoir in the park. It’s easy to get caught up staring at the waters from up on the tree line.
5.4 Miles- The Tree Line Trail ends and you can continue on the asphalt road that runs along the water.
6.2 Miles- The RV park comes into view. Pass through here and walk back to your vehicle via McKinley Rd.
10 thoughts on “Hiking The Bonelli Park Loop Trail”
It looks lovely.
The place looks peaceful. It’s perfect for people who love outdoor activities. Thanks for this post.
Thanks for reading!
First off, great review. My office is right down McKinley from Brackett Field and I’ve taken to taking walks into the park after work to try to improve my fitness. Might have to try this loop.
There’s an interesting thing though…see, you give an address for the airport as 1925 McKinley Ave. Suite H. This is perfect for me…because that’s the exact address and suite number! It’s like this review was written telling me “hey Eric, hike that trail!”
However, the airport is actually a bit further down…not sure of the address off the top of my head. If someone plugs that address into their GPS, they’re going to be parking in our lot…which is fine when we’re closed for the day or on the weekend, but a real pain if we’ve got 10 employees fighting for parking spaces with hikers. Plus, it adds about 10 minutes in each direction to the walk…which I enjoy! But which people reading the review might not.
I will say that the pindrop on the map when you open it from the site does take you to the right place. But if you physically type the address in, you’ll be a good almost half mile east of the terminal and its ample parking.
Anyway…just wanted to point that out. Otherwise, great review, and if I do the loop route some weekend coming up soon, I’ll know what to look for.
Also, have you done the outer loop parts of the trail that take you away from the lake, around the perimeter of the park and eventually also meets back at McKinley? Did that hike tonight…started at the office, walked down McKinley, through the RV park, along the east short, then out Via Verde to the top of the hill (did a little extra climb up a service road to get a great view looking out toward Cal Poly) and then looped back on the trail around the horse stables up the hill to what I think is a public restroom. Just past that is a memorial to a man named Dan Aul, dubbed “Chief of the Trail.” Kind of a cool thing to spot. If you haven’t been up that way yet, definitely recommend it. Thought I saw a deer in the distance and definitely saw some cotton tail rabbits along that path up there, too.
Great pictures. I love this park and want to discover more of it. Thanks
It’s a lot of fun. Enjoy!
Thanks so much this is incredibly helpful!
You’re welcome. Thanks for reading!
The RV Park has put up privacy fences and have security guards monitoring, so you can no longer enter their area to come back out onto McKinley Ave (your picture at 6.2 mile mark). My father and I attempted this trail on Saturday,05/30/2020 and were forced to double back about an 1/8 of a mile and take the Kiko’s Trail up and over the hill to come out on the other side beyond the RV Park, near the Mountain Meadows Golf Course. Kiko’s Trail has a 15% grade and is very rocky. A much more difficult ending than originally planned. For an experienced hiker, it would not affect them very much, but for beginners, this could be an extremely difficult hike, especially at the end, when a person begins to tire. Instead of a 7 mile, which I had done numerous times, it turned into an 8.27 mile hike. If I had know that in the beginning, I would have definitely brought more water, thankfully the weather was cool which helped immensely.