O’Neill Regional Park offers camping facilities for park users. The camp sites are close to Live Oak Canyon Road and are popular throughout the spring and summer months. The campground is family friendly. Lots of kids are riding their bikes, skating, and running around the campground. In short, the campground would be great for people with young kids, families, or someone trying to get outside. I do not recommend the campground for those looking for solitude.
The Live Oak – Vista – Hoffman Homestead – Coyote Loop (loop) follows three trails in the O’Neill Regional park. The short hike has great views of Orange County, Trabuco Canyon, and the Saddleback Mountains.
The Quick and Dirty:
Location: O’neill Regional Park Distance: Approximately 3.5 miles Difficulty: Moderate Duration: 1.5 hours Dogs Allowed? No, dogs are only allowed on the paved trails and campgrounds in O’Neil Park
O’Neill Regional Park is situated in Orange County, California, it is about an hour south of Los Angeles in the heart of Orange County. It is bordered by Trabuco Canyon, Whitings Ranch, Cleveland National Forest, and the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, making it easily accessible. The park offers camping, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trails, day use facilities, and connects to the trails running running south west towards the beaches.
O’Neill park is run by OC Parks and they limit the type of use of each trail. Some trails will allow a combination of hikers, equestrians, dogs, and mountain bikers. Single tracts are typically limited to hikers and equestrians. Dogs are only allowed in camping facilities and the Mesa Trail (paved). Since L is spending 3 months at home with Baby S (thank you California Paid Family Leave), we have been frequenting the park a lot due to the proximity to our home. Below are some of the trails we’ve explored:
Our friendly neighbors at Joshua Tree National Park recommended visiting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (AnzBo) since the wild flowers are supposed to be in full bloom this time of the year. Since our original plan to explore the Mojave Trails did not pan out, we had one more day before our vacation ended. We decided to go home first to resupply and cleanup before heading to Palm Canyon campground at AnzBo. We called the Palm Canyon campground the day before and the ranger informed us all campsites were booked but we could still try for a walk-up tomorrow at noon.
After our warm hike into the Amboy Crater, we looked around for a campsite for the night. Camping is permitted around the Amboy Crater as there were no signed deterring people from camping. In the end, we decided against camping at the trail head because despite the nice facility, there were graffiti and bullet holes throughout the area.
L carrying Baby S hiking inside the Amboy Crater rim