What we're about

Hi and Welcome to Casual Hikes Orange County

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Upcoming events (5+)

Sunset Beach Evening Wednesday Walk ( Workout Wednesday)--Mid Week--Half Way

End of Warner Avenue on PCH-at base of boardwalk

Sunset Beach walk for hour to hour half. Paved boardwalk. Easy walk with the best views and clean oxygen with exception of fire pits ;) did I mention Free Parking at the end of Warner Avenue

Red Rock Canyon at Whiting Ranch. 4 Miles R/T

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Main Entrance

Red Rock Canyon in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Hiking to Red Rock Canyon at Whiting Ranch is a great way to spend a couple of hours outdoors. This is an extremely scenic (and accessible) trail all year round. The hike is about 4 miles round-trip, plus/minus 300 feet of elevation change, there are few very short and slightly steep places, and the last part in the dry riverbed is a little challenging sometimes... It's fun and quite manageable, I hope... I guess...??? That's the nature of hiking trails, they kind of have to follow the lay of the land, which is the point I suppose... Anyhow... *** PARKING *** *** PARKING *** *** PARKING *** The actual parking lot for Whiting Ranch is tiny and always full very early. Ralphs allowed parking for many years, but have changed their policy, now have a patrol vehicle on site, and they could tow your car, so it's probably a good idea not to park at Ralphs... The parking lot across Portola, (on the other side of the McDonalds) has become the new place we all safely park. It just takes two minutes to walk across. We'll meet by this big 'sundial' looking thing by the trail head (below)...... Please arrive a few minutes early if you need to use a restroom at a local business near by before we begin. There are two portable toilets at the trail head and no facilities on the trail. Plan for about two hours or so. Bring water, a hat, camera, etc... all of the normal things... Dogs are not permitted... As for the mountain lions, you'll need to be more concerned with mountain bikes than mountain lions, so don't worry about the latter too much... You have a much greater chance of seeing a deer, or stepping on a rattlesnake if you're not paying attention to where you're going while looking out for mountain lions, deer, or mountain bikes... This is a fun hike on a very nice local trail to a very cool little box canyon and it is as easy and safe as hiking gets. The uneven ground is the biggest challenge for those not used to walking on trails. If you can 'power walk' (or whatever) for a good hour or so and have no major balance issues, you should have no problem at all doing this hike... Whiting Ranch Web Site (http://www.ocparks.com/parks/whiting) PDF Park Map (http://www.ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=63142) PDF Park Info (http://www.ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15842) Local Weather (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=33.6866&lon=-117.669#.WZJJUemQzIU) Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park encompasses approximately 2,500 acres of riparian and oak woodland canyons, rolling grassland hills and steep slopes of coastal sage scrub and chaparral. The park is highlighted by scenic rock formations, including the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. There are three intermittent streams: Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek meandering through the park, each hosting an abundance of wildlife. Remnants of the former cattle ranching days can be seen throughout the park. Though 90% of the park burned in the Santiago Fire of 2007, the land is still in the recovery process. Please respect that process by staying on marked trails and following park rules. Okay then... any questions, please ask... Thanks Basic Disclaimer- Keep Yourself Safe. Even though we’re close to home, it’s still easy enough to get hurt out there, so, we are all adults here, unless you bring your kids with you, and 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 (and mountain bikes) 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 then... We'll see Ya' then... Thanks.

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Early Riser Peep Walk......

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Parking Lot

We will be standing near the bridge....easy hike.....with amazing birds, nature, and water.

Vista Outlook and Billy Goat Trail at Whiting Ranch.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Main Entrance

***This is an intermediate workout hike climbing one substantial hill, then navigating a steep rocky trail.*** Vista Outlook is the less intense version of the infamous Dreaded Hill on the other side of the park. It's roughly a[masked] foot climb over about a mile or so. It has a few steep sections, and you end up above Red Rock and Limestone Canyons, along with a view of the coastal cities. Back at the bottom we'll continue on around the corner, past the Red Rock Canyon trail, and start our way up to the water tank above Four Corners via the very fun to hike Billy Goat Trail. This is a steep rocky trail that climbs and falls a few times before you actually make it to the top. From there it's all down hill back to the parking area. The total distance is about six miles, and the total plus/minus is about 1200 feet between the two trails. Whiting Ranch Web Site (http://www.ocparks.com/parks/whiting) PDF Park Map (http://www.ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=63142) PDF Park Info (http://www.ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15842) Local Weather (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=33.6866&lon=-117.669#.WZJJUemQzIU) Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park encompasses approximately 2,500 acres of riparian and oak woodland canyons, rolling grassland hills and steep slopes of coastal sage scrub and chaparral. The park is highlighted by scenic rock formations, including the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. There are three intermittent streams: Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek meandering through the park, each hosting an abundance of wildlife. Remnants of the former cattle ranching days can be seen throughout the park. Though 90% of the park burned in the Santiago Fire of 2007, the land is still in the recovery process. Please respect that process by staying on marked trails and following park rules. (there's more, scroll down please...) We'll meet by this big 'sundial' looking thing by the trail head (below)...... Please arrive a few minutes early if you need to use a restroom at a local business near by before we begin. There are two portable toilets at the trail head and no facilities on the trail. Plan for about two and a half hours or so. Bring water, a hat, camera, etc... all of the normal things... Dogs are not permitted... As for the mountain lions, you'll need to be more concerned with mountain bikes than mountain lions, so don't worry about the latter too much... You have a much greater chance of seeing a deer, or stepping on a rattlesnake if you're not paying attention to where you're going while looking out for mountain lions, deer, or mountain bikes... *** PARKING *** *** PARKING *** *** PARKING *** The actual parking lot for Whiting Ranch is tiny and always full very early. We used to park at Ralph's for many years until recently. In the past few months they have had security guards monitoring the parking for the shopping center. *** SOLUTIONS *** You can get lucky and get a spot at the little parking lot... You can park in the Ralph's shopping center as inconspicuously as possible while avoiding the flashing lights of the white patrol vehicle... Or you can park across the street in the other shopping area (this is what I do for now) blending in with the other cars and walk across Portola to the park... This place is very popular and this issue will not go away. Any questions, please ask... Thanks ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Basic Disclaimer- Keep Yourself Safe. Even though we’re close to home, it’s still easy enough to get hurt out there, so, we are all adults here, unless you bring your kids with you, and 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 (and mountain bikes) 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 then... We'll see Ya' then... Thanks.

Past events (333)

Wetlands Walk... early peep

Hunting Beach Wet Lands

Photos (1,796)