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Dreaded Hill Loop Trail is a 4.8 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.

Length 4.8 mi Elevation gain 1,079 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Nature trips Bird watching Running Forest Views Wild flowers No dogs
Description
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Getting There

Note: Trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park will be subjected to closures due to mountain lions. Check here for more information: http://www.ocparks.com/parks/whiting/ During the winter this park may close due to rain. 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.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, (949) 589-4729

Concourse Park Trailhead: From Interstate 5, take the El Toro Road exit in Lake Forest. Head North/Northeast up El Toro Road towards the mountains. At the last stoplight before El Toro Road splits at Cook's Corner, turn left on Ridgeline. Turn left at the top of the hill, which is Saddleback Ranch Road. Proceed one block to Concourse Park. Glenn Ranch Trailhead: As above for freeway exit information. Turn left on Glenn Ranch Road. Proceed past Saddleback Ranch Road. Look for dirt road leading to parking area on the right. $2.00 parking fee required. (Add 1 2/3 miles to loop distance from this trailhead.)

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Reviews (147)
Photos (605)
Recordings (114)
Completed (442)
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corey madsen
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Hiking
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jay risner
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 28, 2020

did the trail today. although a mountain lion has been seen in the area it is now open. a biker informed us that there are mountain lions near the red rock trail area. the trail is used by bikers but I did not find it a problem. enjoyed the hike

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Eric Espino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020
HikingClosed

Ranger was at trail head letting folks know it was closed due to recent mountain lion sightings.

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Anne-Laure Creve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2020
HikingMuddyNo shadeRocky
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Julia Butz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2020
HikingMuddy
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Beth Dahlke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 30, 2019
Hiking

Moderate to difficult hike. Last part of very hard due to incline. Beautiful.

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Angie Lira
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2019
Hiking

Amazing hike! So much fun and we did it in the rain.....

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Kathy Meade Linares
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2019
HikingBugs

Loved it! Varying terrain, challenging hills. Just what I was looking for. I went counter-clockwise, as recommended to make it moderate, and am glad that I did, although it can be tough on the knees going down. I can’t wait to try clockwise and push my limits going up!

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Joni Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2019
Hiking

Nice trail considering the convenience for those of us who live nearby. It’s nice when the wild flowers are blooming in spring/early summer, a bit dry and exposed in the summer sun. The hill is steep but the path is smooth and wide. I wouldn’t rate it as a difficult hike but it’s a good workout and most of it nice for trail running. There are a lot of mountain bikers that share the trail. I’d rather have a view of nature but the view of Irvine from the top of Dreaded Hill is nice.

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Christian Bowman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2019
HikingNo shade

If you take the trail counter-clockwise, it's a moderate and enjoyable trail. Clock-wise, it's a bit steep for a period of time, but regardless of which way you take, the trail is fun. Be careful of mountain bikers!! No shade on the trail, so start early. People run on the trail, so hiking shoes and sticks aren't needed. Went when everything was dry, but come spring time, I expect the views to be 10/10

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Zenon Zapack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2019

Great place to ride or hike. Usually. Almost done today and almost hit an oncoming police suv!!! ON THE SINGLETRACK! Another right behind. wtf really? Bizarre sorry i did not photograph.

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Jill Robinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2019
Hiking

Hike to Four Corners via Serrano Creek Trail and Dreaded Hill, then down Whiting Road, a little variation on this loop. Many MTBers, most have bells and all hikers and riders share the trail well. Trails are well-signed. Steep climb up Dreaded Hill but good footing and fine views. Saw two mule deer, many birds and lizards, one rabbit. Sunscreen and water are a must. The hike took about two hours.

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Moustafa Kharouta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2019
Hiking

No snakes and only a few bikers today.

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Catherine Ferguson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 6, 2019
Hiking

Great! Varied terrain; great conditions and fun trail run. Good end of end day/post work run that will guarantee you sweat.

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bonnie murray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2019

HARD, saw a snake, yikes! But a short hard hike.

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Marc Nichols
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 5, 2019
Hiking

This is the time to go, the little yellow wildflowers grow so tall you are walking in a corn maze of flowers! That being said, get there early. By 11am there were rattlesnakes out on the trail, sunning themselves. We were almost done at that point but we saw two rattlers along the home stretch not five minutes apart. Full grown, and one had completely stretched across the trail, the other was on the side and multiple people had walked by it unnoticed...

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Guillaume Gaucher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 10, 2019
Hiking

Nothing much to see

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Paul Kumagai
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 24, 2019
Mountain biking

Rode Whiting yesterday. Supposedly Borrego and Mustard are closed so I went in from Wahoo's. Took Dreaded up and down thru Cactus and Sleepy Hollow then out thru Live Oak. Five miles total with about 850' of climbing so a short and fun ride. Dreaded was no problem to walk up! XD Trails were in great condition, still has flow despite the rains!

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Pedram Mizani
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2019
HikingClosedMuddy

Trail said it’s closed 2 days for each day of rain (so 10 day closure) but we went in anyway. Added the Billy Goat trail for fun and it was awesome. Muddy but adventurous. Fun as always

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Andrew Van Gelder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 10, 2019

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

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Daniel Armenta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 6, 2019
Hiking

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

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Meesh Rekahc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2018

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

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Kelli Stillman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 29, 2018

They don’t call it dreaded hill for nothing.

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Jim Soupos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2018
Hiking

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.

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bonnie murray
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Kimberly White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2018
Hiking

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

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Laura Dondero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 19, 2018
Hiking

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

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