Explore the most popular kid friendly trails near Trabuco Canyon with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

fun times and nice trail.

hiking
1 month ago

A great hike... nice views and beautiful trees of many varieties. Some of the largest Acorns I’ve ever seen. For sure I’ll do again.

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.

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

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.

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.

awesome trail. love it

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.

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.

This is a pleasant hike with some gentle ups and downs and some really nice views of rolling, grassy meadows.

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.

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

mountain biking
4 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.

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

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.

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.

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

hiking
6 months ago

Very easy. Very short.

It’s definitely not easy and you have to navigate to find your way on an overgrown trail. It’s not tick season (spring-summer) but the dogs ended up covered in them. Making for a much less than pleasant drive home (finished the hike as the sun was setting). We’ll have to plan our timing differently to go back. First tick encounter and there were just so many!!

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

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.

on Trabuco Trail

hiking
7 months ago

The drive to the trailhead involves 5.3 miles of dirt road. As of today, if you take it slow, it’s totally doable in a standard sedan type car. But in the past, the road has had some pretty significant ruts after heavy rains, and was even closed last year for quite awhile due to mudslides and washouts, so be sure to check road conditions before heading this way.

I started the hike on a Sunday at about 11:30 a.m. the trailhead only parks about 6 cars (especially when people aren’t considerate in how they angle their vehicles to fit), so I parked a short walk back to where a few cabins are just before the trailhead. The trailhead is where the road ends, so you can’t miss it. Oh, and don’t forget your adventure pass.

Despite a packed parking situation, the trail itself was only lightly trafficked. I saw two other hiking groups briefly, and 4 mountain bikers passed me. Pretty light for a weekend. Otherwise, I was blissfully alone for 95% off my hike.

The lower creek was still dry despite the rainfall a week ago, but the upper part of the creek was flowing. Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t cross that part of the creek, so no extra water for the pup. But you can still hear it and see it from the trail.

The trail is pretty even with both shade and sun, so the temperature was pleasant throughout the entire hike. And there are some fantastic views and scenery in general. As far as incline, there’s barely any at all. I’d say this trail definitely is an easy one.

The trail “ends” at a fork with a clearly marked sign where West Horseshoe Thief splits to the left and the rest of Trabuco Trail continues on. I understand both of the continuing trails are rated as difficult due to a combination of incline and length. Have at it though if you want to lengthen the hike.

I really enjoyed this hike. The only reason I didn’t give it the fifth star is because of the dry creek and generally dry shrubbery (which is mostly due to time of year and not enough rainfall yet this season). I bet after a good rain season I’d love it completely.

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

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

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.

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.

Load More