Mt. Rubidoux, a popular location for California Baptist University students and Riverside residents alike, was purchased by a private Christian group a year ago on April 11.
In 2013, a group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State threatened a lawsuit against Riverside County stating that the cross on the top of Mt. Rubidoux was a violation of the First Amendment.
The city council voted to sell the piece of Riverside history in order to avoid the legal battle that having the cross on public property could bring.
The small parcel of land was sold to a private Christian group called Totally Mt. Rubidoux for $10,500. The cross was able to remain standing and open for the public.
On a regular basis, students travel the 15 minutes from CBU to Mt. Rubidoux to enjoy the many sites, including the castle-like structure, the cross and the view of most of the Inland Empire.
Students at CBU enjoy going to Mt. Rubidoux because outdoor activity and its close proximity.
“It is really peaceful,” said Cassandra Kitchen, senior foundational mathematics major. “I’ve gone up there with friends to sing worship songs by the cross and also to have some quiet time.”
Whether alone or in a group, students enjoy the atmosphere that Mt. Rubidoux has to offer in various ways.
“When I go up to Mt. Rubidoux, I usually go as a bonding time with friends who all enjoy the simple hike to the top,” said Alexandra Alkire, senior communication studies major. “It is never planned, but once we reach the top we all usually disperse away from one another and all take some time individually to be reminded of the blessing we have to live in Riverside and Southern California. It’s a great time for fellowship and to stand in awe of the Creator and his masterpiece.”
Mt. Rubidoux and the cross have been a part of Riverside’s history and the cross is one of the most recognizable landmarks for Riverside.