Dreaded Hill Loop Trail

HARD 84 reviews

Dreaded Hill Loop Trail is a 6.1 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 accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

6.1 miles
1,230 feet

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers

no dogs

Wooded canyon, chaparral, wildflowers, scenic vistas Dreaded Hill rises to the south of Four Corners where you can find water and information about the area. This is the gentler of the two approaches. The Dreaded Hill Trail begins an eighth of a mile west of Four Corners and rises 300 feet in about the same distance. On good days, you may see as far out into the Pacific as Catalina Island. The Santa Ana mountains rise to the northeast: you may lay claim to an excellent view of these as well as of Portola Hills and the Little Grand Canyon. Look for the redrock face to the northwest. Regardless of which approach they take, hikers should walk the Dreaded Hill loop in a counter-clockwise direction. The Serrano Cow Trail connects the Dreaded Hill Trail with the Whiting and Line Shack trails in the south. A fine grove of sycamores and coast live oaks shades your passage here. Watch for mule deer. Leave small children at home: mountain lions have been sighted in these parts.

Fun trail, challenging at times with the hills/ incline. Bring some water and be ready for a good workout. Would do this again!

12 days ago

Make sure you got left and not right at the start of this hike. Great workout. Views are amazing! Definitely will comeback again.

2 months ago

Steep hill but worth the view! Beautiful coming down. You can see a lot of nature and animals (deer).

3 months ago

They don’t call it dreaded hill for nothing.

5 months ago

This hike humbled me! Training for half dome so wanted to do a difficult hike And that I did. Haven’t been hiking much lately but do a lot of walking every day and this hike let me know just how out of shape I am and what I need to do to make my experience much much better. I will not do this hike again until I’m in better shape. Overall not a bad hike if they would just lose those steep inclines. Red Rock was cool and The views from Vista point are pretty amazing. Saw some wildlife, deer rabbits and all kinds of birds. This trail is doable even if you’re a little out of shape but you just might not enjoy it as much as if you were in better shape.

6 months ago

Thanks to my Dreaded Hill hike, I found out I was really out of shape!
A hard, steep, fast elevation gain of 700 feet in a mile. No Shade, pretty views on a clear day.
Back to the gym, before I return.

7 months ago

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

8 months ago

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

8 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

Great hike Good views from various points along the hike. Wide trail. Awesome trail markings. Can't get lost. Dreaded hill was a good cardio hill too.

11 months ago

Loved the views!! ♥️

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Saw a snake crossing the road! The Hill is a fun short workout and you get to enjoy views of the desert.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nice hike, hill’s not that bad watch out for mountain bikes

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Great challenging hike for me, a novice. We’ve seen deer on rare occasions and plenty of cottontail rabbits. We like to get there around 7:30 am to avoid the heat.

trail running
Friday, July 14, 2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Tough uphill climb. I usually do this for training or a cardio workout! Not much of a trail but it gets your work-out in!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fun. Good training hill for bigger and better things

Saturday, June 18, 2016

awesome. go when it is cool weather.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Nice hill climbs... Not many people / bikes on a Monday

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's called Dreaded Hill for a reason. It was a nice hike during a Sunday morning in January. Not many trees, but a lot of landscape, and some houses.
It had a pretty good view of OC *particularly Lake Forest Irvine Spectrum* once you make the dreaded climb from starting south going north.

Truly did dread the hike up.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The hill is tough. Too many mountain bikers for a relaxing hike.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2 hiked this trail yesterday. My phone app said this was an easy trail- would consider it moderate, like the computer version of AllTrails says. The views are wonderful, most of the trail is dirt road - wide and not full of stones etc. Passing through the grove of old Live Oaks was shady. Dreaded Hill is about a mile of steep climbing - we went up (clockwise) not sure my knees would have lasted if we had tried to go down. Trails are all either up or down, very little flat area. We really enjoyed ourselves, but would not have made this our first hike in a long while if we had realized the number of hills.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Don't do this in the summer! There is no shade! My mom and I completed this hike in July and saw more mountain bikers than trees.

road biking
Sunday, June 28, 2015

Very fun but tiring short ride if you take the loop but could go longer if you take another trail.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Good hike, mildly strenuous, but difficulty did seem somewhat overstated. Steep elevation gain followed by easy rolling nature trails back, good starting/training hike.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great starter hike. We started from Concourse park. Most of the hike was wide open so we had a lot of sun. The last leg was Serrano Cow Trail. This was nice and shady, relatively flat, and we saw a lot of mule deer. All along the trails we saw mountain lion tracks and coyote skat. This was a good morning hike.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Good evening workout hike. Dreaded hill is no joke. Even a regular hiker will need a breather after the 1000+ feet climb in just over a mile. Then easy stroll through wilderness. Saw some deers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We started at concourse park and ended up being completely confused as I thought this was a loop trail? We used a map provided from the trail which helped but we ended up going really far in and having to go back the way we came. Great trails though! Watch for rattlesnakes.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saweet Sauce!!!

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