Let's visit my favorite peak in the St. Anne's: Sierra Peak, the northernmost in the Santa Ana mountain chain. This antenna-festooned peak overlooks the 91 freeway and the cities of Corona and Yorba Linda, as well as Chino Hills State Park across the freeway.
This 12.5 mile loop goes up the hard way and down the long way.
We'll start just outside the Green River Golf course in Corona, hike along the Santa Ana River for more than a mile, then go under the 91 freeway to enter Coal Canyon.
Once in the canyon, we'll head up Pipeline Trail, a groomed fire road, that just seems to keep going up and up, until the road ends and we reach Oh Sh*t! Hill. Bring your poles!
Eventually - finally - we reach Main Divide Road where it's just a short hop to Sierra Peak itself. We'll stop for lunch and to relax, then head southwest along Main Divide Road until we reach Picnic Rock (aka Mini Moab), overlooking the 241 toll road, rest for a bit, then head along Coal Canyon Trail until we're back at the cars.
This map shows where we're going:
And this shows the path up and around. Note that the mile markers are only vaguely correct, actual GPS distances are somewhat less.
DIFFICULTY: This is a VERY Strenuous hike; the path up is quite steep, and you'll definitely benefit from poles. The path back down is on a fire road, but it's a longer distance.
Hike leaders reserve the right to limit this event to hikers whose abilities are known to be up to this level of difficulty.
Plus-ones require the approval of the hike leader.
STATS: This is exactly 12.5 miles round trip, with around 2600 feet of elevation gain, with a total time of 5+ hours.
DOGS: No: since parts of this trail go through a designated Wilderness Area, dogs are not permitted. Sorry Sunny :-)
DIRECTIONS: From anywhere in Orange County, get on the 91 freeway east, exit Green River Road -- the first exit in Riverside County - and turn left over the freeway. This puts you on Green River Road, which you'll take until you reach the Golf Course. Our parking is just before that road.
No parking in the golf course itself; you'll be towed!
Note: this parking area and road have been rearranged several times (the US Army Corps of Engineers actually relocated the Santa Ana River here!); no parking *past* Golf Course Road. Be wary of other guides.
Parking is pretty tight because so many people use this trailhead; carpooling highly recommended. But we can probably double-stack the cars so we all fit.
FACILITIES: There are no restrooms or water on the trail or at the trailhead; go before you go! There are numerous fast food places right at the Green River exit on the north side of the freeway for a quick pit stop and a cup of coffee (they have a Starbucks).
ESSENTIALS: You will absolutely need water on this hike, it's a long hard trail (I ran out of 3 liters the first time I did this). Bring snacks, a hat, and hiking poles are *really* useful on the way up.
HIKING AS A GROUP: Our group will generally stick together, and though some may move ahead at a faster pace, we expect to regroup at several key junctions so we don't get too spread out.
We don't want to lose anybody: this hike WILL have a sweep for safety.
Very strong/fast hikers with a mind to tear through this trail and not wait for others may not find this is the right event for them.
POST-HIKE CELEBRATION (optional): The Green River exit has pretty much only fast food places, but one exit down on the way back - Gypsum Canyon - is the Yorba Cantina, which is easy to get to and has a nice bar with adult beverages and real food.
Exit Gypsum Canyon, turn right (north), left on La Palma, then 1/4 mile later turn right into the plaza before the traffic light. It's on the east side of the plaza. For GPS: 23741 La Palma Ave, Yorba Linda. This plaza also has plenty of parking for those who wish to meet there for carpooling to the next exit for the hike.
DISCLAIMER: This group is entirely run by volunteers who are sharing their time to help others discover the great outdoors. Please choose events suitable for your own ability level, and understand that though we strive to create a safe event for everybody, the ultimate responsibility for each hiker's safety is with themselves.