Mount Rubidoux is a mountain just west of downtown in the city of Riverside, California, United States, that has been designated a city park and landmark. The mountain was once a popular Southern California tourist destination and is still the site of the oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States. Many historic markers and memorials have been placed on the mountain, the most prominent being the cross at the summit dedicated to Father Junípero Serra. A majority of Mt. Rubidoux is owned by the City of Riverside, while 0.43 acres at the peak is owned by Rivers & Lands Conservancy after the cross attracted a potential lawsuit and the city decided to sell it at auction it to a private organization. The Santa Ana River flows at the base of the mountain, marking the boundary between the city of Riverside and the Rubidoux neighborhood of the City of Jurupa Valley. The mountain was named for Louis Rubidoux, who established Rancho Rubidoux in 1847, after purchasing a portion of the Rancho Jurupa from Benjamin Davis Wilson, the second elected mayor of Los Angeles.Tom Patterson, as well as most local Riverside historians, have concluded that the original name of Mount Rubidoux was Pachappa. They speculate that one of the early owners of Rancho Jurupa reassigned the name Pachappa to another, smaller hill, in order to expand the property of the Rancho. Since Pachappa hill was designated as the southeast marker of the Jurupa Rancho, which was granted by the Mexican government to Juan Bandini in 1838, reassigning the name to the current Pachappa Hill would have expanded the Rancho Jurupa significantly, incorporating all of the area covered by today’s downtown Riverside. It is also possible the United States government renamed the hills in order to satisfy acreage requirements of the original Mexican land Grant.
In 1906 Frank Miller, owner of the Mission Inn, along with Henry E. Huntington and Charles M. Loring, formed the Huntington Park Association and purchased the property with the intent to build a road to the summit and develop the mountain as a park to benefit the city of Riverside. Originally the park was named Huntington Park, but the name was changed to the Frank A. Miller Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park after the heirs of Frank Miller donated the property to the city in 1955. On December 13, 1925, the Testimonial Peace Tower was dedicated to Miller. The bridge is a replica of a noted bridge in Alcántara, Spain. A plaque for 1932 Olympic equestrian Shunzo Kido was placed on the bridge in 1934 honoring his sacrifice of an Olympic medal in order to save his horse, Kyu Gun, from lameness. Initial improvements, including the road, were completed in February 1907. Mount Rubidoux in Riverside spans an area of 161 acres and is also the home of the first Easter Sunrise Service in the United States. Jacob Riis visited Riverside in 1909 to give an address to the cities people, whilst he was there he thought up the idea of holding an Easter Sunrise Service at the top of the mountain. Don’t forget to check out this place in Riverside too.
As the years went by the services became nationally recognized and many cities across America started to hold their own. The area is very popular with walkers and cyclists who take advantage of there being no road vehicles allowed in the park. Each year the Fourth of July fireworks show launches from the peak of the mount. Mount Rubidoux is just west of downtown in the city of Riverside, California, United States. It has been designated as a city park and landmark. The mountain is a popular Southern California destination and is still the site of the oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States. The city launches its premier fireworks show from the top of the mountain every Fourth of July. Many historic markers and memorials have been placed on the mountain, the most prominent being the cross at the summit dedicated to Father Junípero Serra. Mount Rubidoux is an important landmark and valued asset to the people of Riverside. On April 12, 2009, the 100th anniversary of the Easter Sunrise service was held at the top of Mount Rubidoux. Mount Rubidoux Park is open from dawn until dusk. It covers 161 acres (0.65 km2; 0.252 sq mi) and features 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of paved roads and several dirt hiking trails. The park is closed to vehicular traffic, but improvements in 2009 boosted the number of daily walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. All roads and trails are maintained by the city and by the Friends of Mount Rubidoux, a non-profit organization formed by citizen volunteers to restore, preserve and beautify Mount Rubidoux Park. If you are ever in need of home renovation, click here.