The Bonita Vista trailhead provides hiking and equestrian access to the Juniper Flats ACEC Juniper Flats Area of Critical Environmental Concern and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Barstow Field Office. As suggested by its name (Spanish for beautiful view), the climbs from this trailhead are rewarded with beautiful views. I have enjoyed many short hikes of less than a mile to just sit in the quiet, watch the valley below, and gaze at the mountains beyond.
Hiking in the Area
Opportunities for hiking from the trailhead range from easy to long and strenuous. At this time there are no designated and marked trails, so be careful and know your way to avoid getting lost. As a child I learned a good way to do this. We would often turn around to see what the trail looked like in the opposite direction and then focus on a few landmarks. The Friends of Juniper Flats is working with the BLM to designate some trails and then we can work on getting trail signs installed and maintaining the trail. Meanwhile, BLM allows hiking and equestrian riding anywhere – on and off a trail. There are some washes and other previously used trails that you can follow. I have enjoyed many early morning and evening walks here as well as some hikes and wildlife watching. I especially enjoy the wildflowers, various birds, coyotes and watching the Turkey Vulture migration in the fall.
How to get there
From Bear Valley Road in Apple Valley, CA turn south on Central Rd (34.470355, -117.172920). I use coordinates from place marks created in Google Earth maps.
At Roundup Way turn east to the end of the pavement . This is Bonita Vista Rd. (The trailhead is at the southern terminus of Bonita Vista). The street sign pictured below is on the north side of Roundup Way. Maps have Joshua St for the south side, but there is no sign.
Go South, but use caution as the short tenth of a mile road is rough and requires a high clearance vehicle.
There is ample parking off Roundup Way on the south side.
There is also parking at the trailhead if you have a high clearance vehicle.
Beautiful Views From Bonita Vista
As you gain elevation the views will be more spectacular and after climbing about 750 feet you will enjoy the San Bernardino Mountains to the south. Visiting at different times of the year brings new surprises such as snow or flowers.
Sample Hike Suggestions
There is usually a hiking flyer in the information box located at the trailhead. This flyer has a map and short descriptions. Please remember that without designated trails we are unable to install signs to show the way.
Bonita Vista Trail Head Flyer
The flyer copied below is provided to trail visitors at the trailhead interpretive sign.