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 (2)
This is an out-and-back plus a short loop, basic intro-level, single track trail hike in the Irvine Open Space through Bommer Meadow, starting at Turtle Rock Community Park in Irvine.
The meadow trails are fairly flat and smooth. There are no difficult sections or hills to navigate. Regular walking shoes will be fine on this hike. This is different than a paved walk. You will be using your leg muscles slightly different than normal, so expect to feel that a little bit a day or two afterwards.
There are restrooms at the park before and after the hike, and there is another restroom building we will pass a couple of times as well, so that shouldn't be a problem...
Dogs are not permitted on these trails.
It's been a while since I have been on this trail, I'm assuming nothing has changed a lot... We'll see how that goes...
And I think that's it... Any questions, please ask... Thanks...
- Carolyn J.
- Kim H.
- John G.
- 5 attendees
This is an intermediate level trail climbing one substantial hill, with the option to do more if you wish.
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. The entire hike is about 4 miles round trip.
We'll meet near the big 'sundial' looking thing at the park near the trail head.
The plan is to go slowly and make it to the top. Anyone that wants to do more hiking can add either Red Rock Canyon or the Billy Goat trail easily as well.
Hiking poles and hiking shoes are recommended for this hike. Bring plenty of water and protection from the sun (a hat, whatever), and possibly a small snack to eat at the top of Vista Outlook.
There is a picnic bench and a small shade tree at the top for resting.
There are no restrooms on the trail. There are outhouses at the trail head, and restrooms are available at some of the local businesses (Ralphs, McDonalds). Please plan accordingly if you're going to use them before we go, allow a little extra time for that.
Dogs are not permitted on this trail.
There are lots of places nearby to eat afterwards.
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.
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.
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 $3 parking lot for Whiting Ranch is tiny and can be full very early. We used to park at Ralph's for many years, but now they have 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 shopping area between Mc Donalds and the retail stores, which has become the new standard and there have been no problems for many months now.
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.
- Kim H.
- 5 attendees
Past events (633)
- John G.
- Anh N
- Azita Y.
- 43 attendees