Explore OC - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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1 day ago

Great place to hike!!!
We accidentally did the difficult course but was worth the reward at the end.
Warning for rattlesnakes. Some hikers reported one 30ft away from us on the trail but was gone by the time we arrived......phew!!!! Some narrow, sketchy areas on the tail end of the trail.

i loved it!! and if you aren’t wanting to hike or walk with kids there’s so many other stuff to do here as well. there’s, a zoo, horseback riding, there’s a train! overall i think this was the best place i’ve visited so far. it’s great! :) highly recommend it

This place sucks. It’s confusing as hell. I ended up parking in a neighborhood and just run the street. Don’t recommend

Excellent set of trails. I spent about 2 hours hiking the various trails, and could have easily spent longer.

great views and birdwatching (woodpecker, hawk, multiple smaller birds). many signs of regrowth after the fires with saplings and wild flowers popping up.

5 days ago

Amazing beautiful adventures!!!

A good near-the-city hike option! Definitely plan on doing again.

9 days ago

There’s a path that’s completely flat, which I took, great for beginners.

12 days ago

Did this hike on a weekday with cooler temperature and semi-cloudy day. It was a good workout going up the switchback. The view is very rewarding as you can see the San Gabriel mountains, nearby OC mountains and ocean far away. The gate is closed beyond the visitor center so there is only 6 parking spaces. Be sure to get there early.

I love this hike!!!I❤️❤️❤️❤️

14 days ago

Good, Long, hike.

Awesome Trail with a great view of all of Southern California. As other reviews say, its 3 miles straight up but there are plenty of switchbacks to help with the ascent. My garmin said it was about 2023 vertical feet. There is gravel for about 75% of the hike so be sure to wear comfortable shoes with good traction. Bring plenty of water and maybe a little snack to fuel up after your climb. I'm defiantly planning on coming back and doing this one again.

Side note: We brought our dog (which this trail is dog friendly) but maybe have your dog wear boots cause the gravel can be a lot of a dogs paws.

Was a beautiful day and a good hike, saw a hawk, road runner, coyote and a squirrel.

15 days ago

love this track
Peace Everyone Enjoy

Amazing trail with visibility to various wildlife - we saw birds that are similar in size to storks and pelicans (not 100% sure what they were though). This place is in our back yard and you run into bird watchers every now and then. Amazing experience overall!

This review is for all of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. I joined a group that did about 12 miles through these trails on a day that was expected to downpour. We got lucky, the weather could not have been better, it was in the 50's, cloudy, and calm, and we didnt see a sole until we were on our way out. The scenery in this area is beautiful, there are lots of hills for training especially "Dreaded Hill" about a mile long and around 700 feet of elevation gain. The trails are nice and wide and there are lots of areas with trees covering for shade. We spotted some beautiful birds, lots of deer, and lots and lots of fresh Bobcat tracks. The icing on the cake in this set of trails is definitely "red Rock Canyon." You feel like your in the Grand Canyon with the beautiful red mountains with unique design. You hike to the base of them through a canyon and for added pleasure you can scramble your way to the top.

17 days ago

Definitely need to go back soon.

Some challenging grades at the beginning of the trail. Views of the ocean and Laguna Beach at the top were nice. Second half of trail not a lot to see but a nice peaceful walk. No shade so I’m guessing it can get pretty hot in the summer! Bring a hat!

Great hike!! Challenging great views..

23 days ago

Very fun hike! It wasn't too hard and there was a beautiful view of the beach at the end!

Great trails for kids lots of bikers but at least they were friendly.

great hike. it was about 5k. we saw lots of deer especially in the shaded canopy parts of the trail.

24 days ago

nice hike with no real shaded areas but nice views but a nice cool ocean breeze, and depending on which way you go you can start with steep incline or end with a steep decline, the only issue i had was out of the 30+ bike riders only 2 gave any kind of warning that they were coming/passing and once i was barley able to pulled my niece out of the way and we were already walking on the right edge of the path

It’s closed. And it’s a loop but with no signs.

We hiked here this morning and had an enjoyable time. We got started at 8 am and it was already bright and hot and felt like a summer day. The sign at the parking gate says they open at 8, but maybe since there was a line of cars waiting they opened up early at 7:45.

Parking is $3 but some losers vandalized/burglarized the kiosk so the rangers didn't have us pay, we just had to sign in. The helpful, energetic, knowledgeable female ranger working at the Nix nature center asked us how long of a hike that we wanted to do and mapped it out for us and gave us a lot of helpful info. that was appreciated. Great 1st impression.

We did Little Sycamore to Serrano Ridge to Camarillo Canyon to Stagecoach South back to the center and then we went under the 133 to see Barbara's Lake. The trail started off with incline but it wasn't too overwhelming. It is rather flat on Serrano Ridge and then some up and down the rest of the way. There are some nice views and greener and more colorful than we expected. The ranger told us that the lake is the only natural lake in Orange County...pretty cool!

The trails are well-marked and with the map it is easy to get around. There are people hiking/running and mountain biking but it never feels crowded. We did about 6 miles and it was a good workout that took about 2.5 hours.

26 days ago

I will definitely return to this one since it is not too far from where I live and there are so many trails I didn't do on Sunday. There are many interlinking trails and we did the shorter trails that were closer to the creek since there were people in our group who don't do much hiking and wanted to take it easy on them. We did about 4 miles and there wasn't much incline. I will do some of the harder, longer trails next time.

Parking- we paid $5 since it was Sunday (weekdays are $3); there was a friendly worker at the gate who provides us with a map;
Trails- wide multi-use trails that are great for sharing with mountain bikes (there were many) and there was lots of clues on the trail that horses use these trails too but we didn't see anyone on horseback; i preferred the trails closer to the entrance where the round, concrete steps to cross the creek are.

Love the hike (hate the $15 parking)

I have done this hike about 5 or 6 times. It is pretty easy to find. From PCH there is an entrance to the parking lot right by an elementary school (El Moro). There are 4 colored trails on the map to choose from. I have done all 3 except for the hardest one (the red). My favorite one is the yellow. It is marked as difficult but it isn't really that hard. RT is just under 5 miles and can be done in about 2 hrs. Be sure to go through the tunnel that goes under PCH and spend some time on the beach and the rocks. It is a beautiful place for pictures. The trails are well used but definitely not crowded and everyone is extremely friendly.

*this is more of a 4.5 star hike and would be a 5 if the parking was free or $5 or less

26 days ago

Much better than I expected. I have done this hike two times...once in May and once in December.

Parking- both times we arrived around 7am and easily found parking on Foothill Parkway for free (a big plus for me); however when we left both times the parking situation was much different and people were parking farther down the street

1st visit in May...there are different trails to choose from...we did the Hagador Canyon Watershed and followed it in about 1.5 miles before turning back as it seemed to become harder to follow/see the trail; it was much greener than I anticipated and quite a bit of cover from the sun is provided by the trees and the hills; we then walked over to the Tin Mine Trail and that was 2.5 miles total RT to the end of that trail and back...all together we did just under 8 miles and spent about 4 hours enjoying the area; the Tin Mine Trail is also rather shady and there are some closed mines that you can take a look into (iron gates blocking the actual entrances of the mines); you can hear water trickling in some parts of the trail and just great colors and beautiful;

2nd visit...when we returned in December we did the hike to the Doppler Ball...on the way there we took the wide winding fire road and on the way back down we opted for the more direct route back along the ridge and that was more fun...total miles was about 11 miles with just under a 2,000 ft elevation gain and took us a bit over 5 hours to complete including time to take in the great views and to check out the ruins near the top with the only true trees on the trail and there are some great rocks to take pictures on and of course time spent at the top with pictures of the Doppler radar

I have been here 4 times. It's not bad, but definitely not high on my list of favorite hikes or hikes that I can't wait to return to. The first time I came here was a solo hike. I brought some family member the 2nd time and thought this would be good since my niece has a young family and figured the trail around the lake would be short and easy enough for them to handle. The third time I came with a friend that I hadn't seen in a long time and we hiked the whole thing and that gave us time to "catch up". The last time I came here was for an Earth Day 10K.

Pros- easy to find and doesn't require a long drive to get there; there is ample parking in the lot ($3 I believe)...you can also park at the southwestern end at a school(during non-school hours) or on the street near the school for free; different connecting trails to make your hike suitable to the level of difficulty or time that you have (I have done as little as 2.5 miles here to as much as 6 miles); some steep hills that seemed much steeper when I was running the 10k that gives you a good workout if you choose that trail on the southern side; you can bring your dog

Cons- on the busy side and surrounded by neighborhoods so you don't get the feeling of really getting away from the hustle/bustle; no cool destination or view that you must see esp. since the lake is dry.

Parking- we chose to use the lot near the Ralphs on Portola & Market. The cost is $3 and the machine takes dollar bills and cards.

Trail- we did the Borrego Trail which was great...green with shade and a little bit of water; Cattle Loop( I think) was too short to really say much about; Red Rock Trail which is a must-see with the reddish sandstone cliffs; Mustard Trail which was kinda boring; there are many other trails and there were hikers, runners, and bikers...no dogs allowed

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