Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Whiting Ranch Trail

6 days ago

Fabulous hike!! Last 3/4 of a mile is on Portola Parkway though...kind of a bummer to end such a gorgeous hike.

Great hike, but wear good hiking shoes for the smooth rocks at Red Rock (covered in loose rock/sand).

Allow 2-2 1/2 hours if you want to take photos and spend time at Red Rock...you have to hike through Borrega Canyon first.

It’s easy to miss the turn to Red Rock so keep your eyes peeled immediately after the covered rest area that marks the end of the two-way trail.

Not suitable for kids under 12 - the rocks beg to be climbed and are steep. Bring lots of water in the summer also. Great local hike and easy to reach.

Good training hike. Lots of wildlife - deer, rabbits, snakes, birds. Not too many people. Some shade on the rout to dreaded hill.

hiking
27 days ago

We did the 5.9 mi loop with kids (youngest was 9). Billy goat was best trail. I’d go up and back the same way. I didn’t like the last section walking on the street. Go up and back from Ralph’s.

Great hike, did 8 miles including Dreaded Hill, 700 feet up in one mile! I love the trails in Whiting Ranch, have no problems hiking alone here. Love all the wildlife I always see, including a mommy and baby deer today

Nice partially shaded trail! It took less than 2 hours RT and we stopped at the canyon for about 15 minutes. Only disappointing thing is that Red Rock Canyon is the destination, not really part of the trail, so sadly you don't get to walk through the beautiful formations! Parking is $3 at the lot at Portola/Market next to Arco. Where Borrego Canyon Trail ends, make a right towards Mustard Road and you will soon see the markers for Red Rock Canyon trail.

Started at Concourse Park, pick up a map at the trail head, the maps are easy to follow and Whiting Ranch is well sign posted. I went up Dreaded Hill along to Four Corners and then down Whiting Ranch. Dreaded Hill is named that way for a reason! Still fun though if you stop for breathers and water occasionally, fabulous views along the way and there’s a nice bench to rest for a bit at the top! I did this on an 80* afternoon, not too bad, but would advise plenty of water, good trail shoes and maybe a snack if you haven’t eaten beforehand. My route was a little over 4 miles total (great for cardio), but there are plenty of other trails in the park if you want to extend your hike.

one of my very favorite go to trail,short,steep and get my heartrate going

Such a beautiful place, I added Red Rock Canyon to this hike since this was my first time here. It never crossed my mind about the name Billy Goat Trail, but sure made sense once I started it. This is a fun, but rough trail. The right shoes are a must, and the only trail I used my pole on. I'm fairly new to hiking and 53, so I just take my time. Really worth it though, gorgeous views.

awesome trail. love it

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Very scenic. Combined it with dreaded hill for a nice workout.

Great canyon trail with plenty of shade and a beautiful rock formation as the destination. We went on a weekday before work got out, so it wasn’t crowded. I imagine this trail gets very crowded after work and on the weekends though.

DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED on the trails

Awesome hike! Went with my 10 yo son and we really enjoyed it. The highlights were seeing a rabbit foot and guts hanging from a tree (and imagining how it got there—probably a hawk, but maybe a mountain lion), a woodpecker pecking on a tree, and of course, the red rock canyon which looked like a scene from Star Wars where Sand People would come out of.

The first 3/4 of the trail was nice but the last 1/4 was very disappointing.

TIME
We (two 40 year old adults) were back to Red Rock Canyon and out in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

PARKING
There's a public parking lot at the trail head. Parking costs a couple bucks but an earlier visitor left their no longer being used parking pass on the machine so we parked for free. Not that many spots so lot could fill up easily. Start to the trail is right next to the parking lot. There is a display map and free map flyers at the start.

CELL/MOBILE SERVICE
I had Verizon service the whole time. Was able to check in and record my path.

GEAR
Shoes that can traverse: dirt, rocks, sand stone hills, and beach like sand.

LOOK OUT FOR
Quick moving bikes. Collisions seem easy between walkers and riders.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Path was well established and easy to walk along Borrego Canyon. Red Rock Canyon was more demanding as there was many rock in the path. Disability friendly-ish along Borrego, not Red Rock.

TRAIL FEATURES
Try for late day lighting - better red rock pictures!

Lots of wildlife and wildflowers. I saw Woodpeckers, deers, ducks, and gophers. $3 parking.

Walking up Dreaded Hill is challenging but when you reach the top you feel fantastic for the accomplishment

great trail. Red Rock canyon is well worth the hike to see

mountain biking
2 months ago

One way bike trail, limited paid parking ($3). Trail is very narrow, steep, rocky and sandy at times.

Great hike.. incredible views at the end of the trail.
Moderate-intense elevation gain, a little rocky but overall the hike takes 3hrs round with kids, 4.4 miles.

Nice simple trail we enjoyed it. Loose rocks on the billy goat watch your step .

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.

Great hike!! Challenging great views..

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

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

Stupidly marked trailheads announcing “no trespassing, private property” which seems to apply to the areas off the trail. Long suburban walk at the start without much going for it, other than some cool pedestrian underpasses. Hits whiting ranch, and then the fun part “coyote brush trail” is closed due to construction. Don’t waste your time, start at whiting ranch for a real hike.

Its a beautiful trail. We went with our 4 yr old and he enjoyed most of it. Quite shaded. The canyon itself is gorgeous. Would love to frequent it.

Vista Lookout Road - a decent trail with a good incline, the views are good, it is relatively short even if you are out of shape you won't get to the point of hating your life. There is a picnic table up at the top. No shade throughout the stretch, so be wary.

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