What we're about

Hi and Welcome to Casual Hikes Orange County


Come on out and take a relaxing hike without pushing it too hard… The hikes I post are all intended to be 'clearly more than a nature walk' while still in the 'rookie' range as far as hiking in general goes… ‘Casual Hikes’ does not mean ‘Easy Hikes’, it’s all relative. (FYI, compared to typical hiking groups, these are all easy to moderate, short, and relatively slow 'level one' hikes). Please be aware that trail hiking is considerably different than distance walking on paved paths. The biggest difference is the hills, and the extremely uneven and unstable ground to walk on. Hiking shoes are recommended, but good running/walking shoes will be okay too.


This is not a serious hiking group preparing for and doing extremely cool hikes in all sorts of exotic places. This group is about crossing the line from 'nature walks' into 'trail hikes', to gain basic experience, conditioning, rebuild after injury or just time off, to see just how cool the nature really is all around us still, or to just relax and enjoy a little bit of raw nature just because it's there.


The O.C. Parks system has miles of beautiful trails available in the local foothills. There is a wide variety of wildlife still to be found on a quiet morning hike, and the various seasons change the colors of the landscape (at least a little bit, this is southern California) from time to time.



Keep Yourself Safe.

Even though we’re close to home, it’s still easy enough to get hurt out there. We are all responsible for our own safety. This meet-up group and anyone in it is not responsible for your safety and makes no promise you are safe from natural dangers (mountain bikes, or anything else) while participating in a hike. Things like ticks and rattlesnakes are not uncommon (not a problem either, you just look out for them), plus all of the other normal outdoor dangers and precautions that come with any outdoor activity. Please know your abilities and your limits and keep yourself safe.


Okay… Click here for the calendar and let’s go (https://www.meetup.com/Casual-Hikes-Orange-County/events/)…

Upcoming events (1)

Hike to the Vedanta Ramakrishna Monastery in Trabuco Canyon

Live Oak Trail to the Monestery

This is a relatively short but challenging and relaxing 4-1/2 mile (round-trip total) hike to the beautiful Vedanta Ramakrishna Monastery in near by Trabuco Canyon. The hike from the trail head to the monastery is about 1-1/2 miles with about 450 feet of elevation change. That means a lot of it is up hill and you'll get a good workout on the way there.

We'll regroup at the top of the trail before walking up to the monastery, and we'll just 'pass on through quietly' on our way to the loop trail on the property. The loop trail is just cool to start with, it's only about a mile long, and along the way it has places representing a variety of spiritual and religious beliefs.

We can take a quiet look around the grounds after we do the loop trail....

Most of this hike (3+ miles) is in exposed sun and has a few hills on it. The monastery part is partly shaded and very pretty, but it has its challenging parts too. This not just a stroll because the word 'monastery' is in the title. This is a short workout hike to a cool place at the top of the hill. Bring plenty of water and be ready to breath a little for a while.

The entire hike should take about 2 hours ... I think there are public restrooms on the monastery grounds...(???) The trail definitely has none, so plan accordingly. Unfortunately dogs are not permitted on the trails or at the monastery. This is a great workout with a nice to place to visit at the top and a perfect time of year to do it. Happy trails... See ya' there...

ABOUT THE ATTENDANCE LIMIT: This is a real functioning monastery where people live their lives, not a tourist attraction. So as to not overrun their home, I am limiting attendance for this event. Please update your RSVP as soon as possible if you will not be able to attend. If there is any possibility you may not be able to go, please change your RSVP giving time to allow someone else to go that can and will attend. Thank You.

ABOUT GPS: Please don't just trust it. Please look at the map in the posting and know that your GPS directions are good. Thank You.

If 'Less Than Nice Weather': If it's too cold, cloudy, damp, and/or too windy (winter weather), I will need to reschedule the event. It looks good at the time of this posting, but...???

ABOUT IT: Yep, that's about it... Thanks... See you there...


Past events (620)

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Walk- BRIGHTWATER TRAILHEAD

Brightwater Trailhead