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The Hills of Turtle Rock near UCI, Irvine / Moderate-Fast Pace - Level 2+)

This hike is rated level 2/2+ for pace and elevation. Please see the RATING TABLE for more info about difficulty levels.

Meeting time: 6:30 - 6:35 PM

Duration: ~1.5 hours
Distance: 4 miles
Elevation: 1100 ft

ESSENTIALS: Bring water, running/hiking shoes, and a flashlight

DIRECTIONS: Address: 1 Concordia, Irvine

From the 405 exit Jeffrey and head towards the beach, Jeffrey will become University, Left onto Ridgeline Drive, Turn right onto Turtle Rock Drive, Turn right on Concordia and park on the street.

Map: 1 Concordia, Irvine 92612

ABOUT THIS HIKE:

This is a workout conditioning hike composed of a looped route with a mix of trails and sidewalk/bike paths, along with some not too long but fairly steep hills. The two popular hills: French Hill and Suicide Hill at Turtle Rock.  This loop, which uses city streets, single-track trails and a little bit of climbing, is one of several possible routes that visit the two summits. This hike requires regular hikers or those who have exercise experience (stair stepper or treadmill on 5-7 degree incline). The trail is dog friendly.

Route:

The hike begins with a steep climb up French Hill, gaining 200 feet in about 0.3 miles. At the top, you get a nice view of the Santa Ana Mountains and you can also see the other destination, Turtle Rock, to the left.

At the top, bear right, pass by a small summit marker, and begin heading downhill, toward a residential neighborhood. The trail swings around the back side of the houses and begins to curve south, making a moderate ascent to a ridge. Here, you get nice views of the Laguna Canyon area and the San Joaquin Hills.

At 1.2 miles, you begin a sharp descent toward Ridgeline Drive. Head right and follow a trail that’s been beaten on the side of the road. Soon you cross Hillsborough, where you can follow a proper sidewalk up to the intersection with Turtle Rock Drive.

Cross the street and continue following Ridgeline, looking for a paved walkway heading downhill (1.9 miles.) At the bottom of a hill, where the walkway makes a hairpin turn, continue straight on a dirt trail. Never getting too far from the residential area on the right, you climb to another ridge. Head right at a junction, where you’ll see Turtle Rock ahead of you, with its geological outcrops that resemble turtles.  You descend into a pleasant wooded area, reaching a paved walkway at about 2.6 miles.

Head left, and almost immediately take a hard right and begin climbing a staircase. At the top, head right and continue your ascent. A little bit of scrambling, though nothing too difficult, is required to reach the top of Turtle Rock (2.9 miles), where you enjoy a nice view of almost all of Orange County, and on clear days, beyond.

Continuing north, you descend steeply from Turtle Rock. Turn left at the next junction and head through a meadow, toward the intersection of San Rufino and Via Novella (3.4 miles.) Follow Via Novella to Amalfi Drive, head right and turn right again on Turtle Rock Drive. Heading slightly uphill, follow Turtle Rock 0.4 miles back to the starting point.

REMINDER:

***By joining the meetup, you agree to Meetup Terms of Service releases the Organizer and Assistant Organizers from any liability related to incidents that occur at Meetup gatherings***
 > YOU acknowledge THAT WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS.
 > YOU ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR SAFETY
***Hiking is a rewarding and pleasant activity in nature, but there are certain dangers you should be aware of. Those include, but are not limited to, trip and fall injuries, bee stings, poison oak exposure, ticks, snake bites, coyotes, mountain lions or wildlife. By signing up for this event, you agree to hold harmless the hike organizer, assistant organizers and other participants for any injuries sustained during this hike***

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  • Frank

    Great hike. Nice views from the top. Thanks Lily!

    April 29, 2014

    • Lily

      Thanks Frank, you reminded to check out the reservoir. The name is Sand Canyon Reservoir, so I guess it'll be right next to Shady Canyon?

      April 30, 2014

  • Arpi

    Loved the hike! Thank you!

    April 30, 2014

  • Lily

    Thanks Ladies, Frank and David for a nice evening! Danika and Heidi, are you still up for Boat Canyon this Sat.? It's warmer, so it'll be an hour later, like 5 PM. We'll do Mt. Wilson, so I am just checking in case you can't find your workout for a weekend :-)

    2 · April 29, 2014

    • Heidi

      Sure, I am always up for Boat Canyon :) Thanks so much for thinking of us and offering!!

      1 · April 29, 2014

  • Danika

    Thank you, Lily!

    1 · April 29, 2014

  • Susan

    loved the walk

    April 29, 2014

  • Pin

    Lovely, thanks!

    April 28, 2014

  • Heidi

    Great seeing you Lily! Thanks for a wonderful hike!! :)

    April 28, 2014

  • Carmen 😊

    Sorry can't make it today :(

    April 28, 2014

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