Borrego Canyon to Red Rock Canyon

EASY 348 reviews

Borrego Canyon to Red Rock Canyon is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Trabuco Canyon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
452 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

no dogs

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, (949) 589-4729

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Great trail. I’ve done it too many times to count. The red rocks at the end are beautiful & the main attraction for this trail. They are for viewing mostly as they are steep & sandy/slippery. I wouldn’t chance an injury out there by climbing on them but many people do. I have brought an 8 year old & first time hikers who are up for a slight challenge (only at the end of trail as its slightly uphill briefly).

You have to share trail with bikers for first mile which is annoying on a busy weekend. Be careful of the poison oak when dodging them.

hiking
19 days ago

Nice trail, beauty at the Red rocks, easy for all levels! Worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

awesome trail. love it

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

mountain biking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Super easy, very beautiful trail, follows a dry riverbed. Lots of birds and pretty plants. Rock formations are awesome and varied, make sure you climb some of them, if you'll manage to climb up to the top you get to enjoy even better views. Pretty scenic and super easy flat trail.

Borrego Canyon trail is a biking trail, but Red Rock Canyon is hiking only.

4 months ago

I went hiking on Monday early morning. It actually was a bit crowded with bicycle riders.

5 months ago

Fun hike, really busy. Watch out for the mountain bikers, most don’t have bells. The red rocks were incredible! A must do.

hiking
5 months ago

Very crowded, they shouldn’t allow mountain bikers at peak dates and hours because of the big crowds. Easy trail, good for kids, nice views and climbing at the canyon.

hiking
6 months ago

Great little hike , great for pictures ! Very popular spot.

hiking
6 months ago

Ran this trail to the Red Canyon; very nice trail for beginners. Hot during the summers and not a lot of shade once you work your way towards the canyon. Bring lots of water

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail after you get past the initial intro hike to the actual “Red Rock Trail”. The hike is fairly easy, about 4.5 miles from the entrance, all the way through and back from the end trail point at Red Rock. The initial trek from entrance to the Red Rock Trail can be a little overwhelming with the amount of bicyclists riding back and forth. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the trail and there was plenty of wildlife to observe throughout the hike. The hike gets 4/5 stars solely based on the amount of bicyclists and the fact that dogs are NOT allowed. We would definitely frequent this trail if we are short on time and want to get a good hike on over the weekend.

hiking
6 months ago

Borrego is your starting point for many of the connecting trails. The trailhead for Red Rock can be a bit hard to find off Mustard, and is easily confused with Cattle Pond. Red Rock is a .5 mi single trail that is fairly easy and very much worth the hike.

6 months ago

Finally made it to the red rocks, easy trail. Hubby and I had a great time making this hike.

hiking
6 months ago

I like to see why people rate trails the way they do because it gives me an insight to what the trail is like.

The trail is approximately 4.4 miles out and back, and is an easy trail. If you go on a busier day watch out for bicyclists.

The trail starts off on a dirt path among a residential area. Then the dirt path becomes a path of sand in some areas. About a mile in you can’t see houses anymore. Make sure to grab a map at the trail head as there are other trails that connect to this one. If you don’t grab a map that’s ok because halfway up the trail there is another map posted and there are markers along the way to help you stay on the right path.

We really enjoyed the hike because it was easy to hike with a one year old. The trail is nice, different and interesting because of the change from dirt to sand to red rock. It’s also clean. The only thing I didn’t like very much is having to share it with cyclists. Also, note that dogs are not allowed on this trail and that there is a $3 fee at the parking lot.

hiking
7 months ago

Entrance is gated off from where this map takes you, but up the hill about a minute there is a small white cement wall with a trail leading to dreaded hill peak. Beautiful to watch sunset! About a mile hike up, which was pretty easy. Beware of bikers and rattle snakes!

8 months ago

Gorgeous

8 months ago

One of my favorite trails in Orange County! Much of it is shaded by Coast Live Oak, Willow and Sycamore trees. The Red Rock Canyon is awesome.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a very fun trail. I love to climb so if you do to this was fun. I used Solomon trail running shoes my girlfriend went in regular old Nikes and we both did just fine. Easy to follow trail, lots of shade and mountain bikers. No shade at the top of course but gorgeous red rock. Felt like being in Arizona again.

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