Exploring Banning CA North Banning

North Banning Bench / Wash

As you travel further north on San Gorgonio Ave, you will see the Banning Cemetery on the the left and the Banning Wash on the right. Further up is a turnout which takes you through Mias Canyon, a small rural community and home to the Sportsman Hunting Club. Once you climb the grade and reach the hairpin turn you are entering the Banning Bench. Peach orchards and large homes dot the the landscape with beautiful views of the mountains. Due to the higher elevation the Bench usually gets snow in the winter.

Banning Wash | Banning Bench

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Banning Cemetery, Wash and Mias Canyon

  • Banning Memorial Park

    Banning Memorial Park

  • Banning Cemetery

    Banning Cemetery

  • Banning wash

    Banning Wash

  • Banning wash

    Banning Wash

  • Banning wash

    Banning Wash looking south to Banning

  • Banning wash Entrance to Mias Canyon

    Entrance to Mias Canyon

  • Mias Canyon home

    Mias Canyon home

The Banning Wash was a popular hangout in high school for drag racing and parties. After the rainy season the wash offered a cool relief on hot days. I can still remember meeting friends at the cemetery for some good midnight haunting. Mias Canyon is a close-knit rural community nested in the foothills.

Historical note

Rancher/farmer George Barrett lived in a canyon north and east of Banning and was murdered in 1878, by a neighbor, N. M. Peterson (known by the nickname of "Big Pete"). Peterson was hanged for his crime four months later in San Bernardino but the body of George Barrett needed to be buried somewhere, soon. A group of Banning residents, including Welwood Murray, decided to inter Barrett's body on "a sitely point of hill north of Banning," thus providing the first description of the present-day San Gorgonio Memorial Park.

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Banning Bench

  • San Gorgonio Mountains from Mesa St

    San Gorgonio Mountains from Mesa St.

  • San Gorgonio mountains from Sunset Ave

    San Gorgonio mountains from Sunset Ave.

  • Banning Bench Brick house, Gilman St.

    Brick house, Gilman St.

  • Banning Bench

    Rutheford Orchard Farm

  • Banning Bench Rutheford Orchard Farm

    Banning Bench Fall Colors

  • Banning Bench Bluff St. heading towards the wash

    Bluff St. heading towards the wash

  • Banning Bench San jacinto Mountains in the snow

    San Jacinto Mountains in the snow

  •  Banning Bench Snow

    Banning Bench Snow

  • Banning Bench Peach Orchirds in the snow

    Peach Orchards in the snow

While there has been some new homes constructed over the years, Banning Bench residents have fought hard to keep the area from being over developed. The aptly named Bluff Street follows the bluff and deadends at an access road for the forestry and water district. Because of its elevation the bench gets snow every winter, if only for a day or two. You can also reach the Bench by taking Sunset Ave north. Old Ruthaford Orchards still has a stand on Bluff Street sellling locally grown peaches and other fruits.

Historical note

The Ellis ranch on the Banning Bench was often visited by Robert Young and John Wayne who enjoyed horseback rides along the trails on the Bench.

Banning Google map
Click to open Google Banning map
North Banning
San Gorgonio Memorial Park - www.summitcemeterydistrict.com
Banning Sportsman Club - www.banningsportsmansclub.com
Banning Bench - Facebook page