Whiting Road to Billy Goat Loop Trail

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Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Whiting Road to Billy Goat Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Foothill Ranch, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,066 feet Route Type: Loop


mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers

no dogs

During the winter this park may close due to rain events. This is a rougher route to Red Rock Canyon than the Borrego Trail. You'll go up some steep sections and then down the steep Billy Goat Trail which is choked in chapparral and treacherous in spots where the knifeblade sandstone ridges have eroded. The Billy Goat Trail itself is closed to bikers. Watch for loose rock on the ridge leading into the elfin forest. Be on watch for mountain lions, particularly in the elfin forest and areas of thick brush. Like all Whiting Ranch hikes, it is best avoided during the summer months when temperatures can reach the low hundreds. There is little shade along this route except at the very bottom of Mustard Road. Wear a hat in all seasons.

over grown
26 days ago

26 days ago

This park has many of the features you will see of other nice hiking areas in SoCal, but what makes it different is Red Rock Canyon. For my full trip report with video, pics, information and story go to my blog: https://orangecountyhiking.home.blog/2020/04/23/whiting-ranch-wilderness-park/

Nice short trek on the backside of the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. We made our way down to Red Rock Canyon from the obscure trailhead off E. Santiago Canyon Rd. It's slightly shorter than the typical route (Borrego Trail to Red Rock), but this backside is definitely a better workout and has considerably better views along the way. It doesn't feel like you're in the OC.

Amazing views, definitely a challenge for fitness. Lots of elevation both up and down. Will probably take longer than you think!

no shade
6 months ago

Free parking at a small park near trailhead. Trail briefly branches but quickly comes back together at formal entrance to wilderness area that has trail map + mountain lion warning. Trails are mostly wide & very well maintained. Lots of cyclists. No shade. Billy Goat itself is a small, winding trail. Footing is straightforward. I wandered through a bunch different of other trails (Mustard & others) to extend what would otherwise have been a very short outing. Entire area suitable for trail running. Moderate difficulty. Worthwhile visit if you are close by. I see it as an early morning trail running circuit.

9 months ago

Billy Goat is a fun trail considering it’s proximity for us that live nearby. There are steep inclines but it’s not overly strenuous if you exercise often. It’s not easy, though and a nice workout. The toll road and new homes is kind of an eyesore but the rolling hills make up for it. We did it with Red Rock which adds about 2 miles

no shade
Mon May 20 2019

I enjoyed this trail. The Billy Goat section is a winding trail that takes you through wildflowers and over more rugged terrain that makes you feel “off the beaten path”. The rest is a wider trail that gets a little close to the road at times. Sure, there is no shade but if you find a nice day, you’ll enjoy yourself out here.

Fri May 17 2019

Hard, narrow, full sun, but up to the top very fast!

no shade
Sat Apr 13 2019

Sun Apr 07 2019

Sun Apr 22 2018

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

Thu Mar 29 2018

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

Sun Dec 31 2017

Billy Goat has become one of my favorite trails at Whiting. Difficult and technical at times. Steep uphills as well as downhills. Can be slippery from the sand and loose gravely rocks. No shade so keep that in mind during the hot afternoons. I bring my poles with me for this trail.

Sun Dec 03 2017

You spend the entirety of this fairly straightforward hike constantly fluctuating in elevation, oftentimes over steep and occasionally treacherous terrain, but it's a great work out and the more technical hiking along Billy Goat Trail can be a lot of fun if you're up for it. I recommend hiking past the far end of the loop and continuing out to Vista Lookout. It adds about a mile and a half onto your hike, but you get pretty cool views of the canyon's sandstone formation. Went in December in the morning and the weather was perfect throughout. Be mindful of the mountain bikers that frequent these trails. They get a kick out of the downhill sections of the hike and can round the corners pretty quick so stay alert.

Sat Oct 28 2017

Billy Goat Loop Trail was simple hiked w/ some high inclines. Good for an evening or early bird morning hike. In evening the sunset is beautiful. In the morning you will still get fogginess (depending on the weather condition), but it is amazing and depending on the month(s). You will feel like your closer to heaven. Simple/good workout hike in the city.

Sat Oct 21 2017

One of my fav hikes, beautiful scenery!

Mon Sep 11 2017

My wife and I hiked Dreaded and Billy, one after the other, but bc we were new, did Billy first bc we parked st Concourse. Anyway, both can be done and our whole hike was about 2 hours bc we ran a bit too. Next time we will go up Dreaded first and go to 4 Corners where Billy can be approached from the left to go up instead of down. I think it was about 8 mi total. Dreaded was harder but a wide utility road and about 25% longer. Billy was steeper and good shoes are rqd bc it's a bit gravelly up and down, but not as slippery as Brand is, on the north side of Burbank. So if we had only done one or the other, it would not have felt as much of a challenge, we saw at least 5-10 hikers and 10 bikers, but it did not feel crowded. No wildlife was seen. About 85-90 degrees, so bring water. We ran out of water over the last 2 miles bc we only planned to do Billy. We had extra water in the car and there is a fountain at Concourse parking. Four corners had a water fountain, but there were too many bees buzzing to get at it. Sucked to not have water when so hot on September 9, 2017.

Sun Jul 02 2017

Was an awesome hike. The Billy Goat trail gets quite tricky and technical. Need to watch your footing. Not much shade so a hat or cap is definitely called for. All in all a good work out.

Sat Jul 01 2017

Nice view & great Hills!

Tue May 02 2017

Tough for my first hike but so worth it!

Mon May 01 2017

nice day

Thu Apr 06 2017

One of my favorite hikes in Whiting Ranch. I would say it is 2nd toughest to Dreaded Hill, but it is more interesting. This trail has its fair share of climbs and descending portions but offers a fairly nice view at the highest hill. I have been able to spot a deer or two during the right time of year.

Mon Apr 03 2017

It's good but I think it should be moderate, not hard.

Sat Mar 25 2017

Narrow trail. Would be best to not have a fear of heights to trail this. Awesome 360 view .. watching birds soar at your same level. Rewarding experience. Not a hard trail.

Sun Jul 17 2016

This hike was a lot of fun, but I'm not sure I would call it a hard hike. It had some challenging moments, but overall a moderate hike. It took me longer to get out to the actual Billy Goat Trail than it did to hike it.

Sun Jun 05 2016

The trail is amazing you follow a ridge line and you can practically see all of whiting ranch It can get pretty steep but a fun technical hike

Thu Mar 24 2016

This was a wonderful hike. Not too difficult at all. You have a few loops to choose from. All in all a good 2 hours. Well worth it. Will be looking for something more challenging.

Wed Nov 11 2015

This was such a great trail. The length wasn't too bad, about 5 miles. However, it is either uphill or downhill. You don't get a lot of flatland breaks in between. The trail also gets really narrow and very rocky at some points. Loved it overall though!!

Mon Dec 08 2014

Billy Goat!! It looks so inviting ..Lol...great hike. Beautiful scenery and so nice to have very little "traffic " whizzing by. It's a wee bit of a challenge...but worth it for gorgeous views!!

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