O’Neill Regional Park, Orange County, California

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:

Edna Spaulding Trail

Live Oak Trail – Vista Trail – Hoffman Homestead Trail –  Coyote Trail Loop

Mesa Trail

Camping at O’Neill Regional Park

Mountain biking Arroyo Trabuco – Tijieras Creek

Links:

OC Parks – O’Neill Regional Park Main Webpage

Camping Reservations

Park Map

Park History

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Day 5- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park- Palm Canyon Campground

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.

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Visitor Center to Palm Canyon Campground Trail

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Day 4- Joshua Tree National Park – Indian Rock Campground and Boy Scout Trail

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.

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L carrying Baby S hiking inside the Amboy Crater rim

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Trail Running at Riley Wilderness Park

The Quick and Dirty:

Location: Thomas F. Riley wilderness park or more commonly known as Riley Wilderness Park is one of the OCParks in Orange County, California. It is located on 30952 Oso Parkway, Coto De Caza, CA. 
Distance: We ran about 4 miles to the Skank Vista Point, down through Oak Canyon and looped around the Pheasant Run (this is the outer loop of the preserve). 
Difficulty:  Easy hike and trail run, lots of good rolling hills for a good workout but nothing too strenuous. 
Duration: It took us about 50 minutes to finish the 4 mile run with breaks in between.
Dogs Allowed? No dogs are allowed inside the preserve but ironically equestrians are allowed to ride their horses on the trail. 
Best time to visit: The preserve is open year-round from 7AM to sunset.
Trail Parking: Parking is $3 at the designated preserve parking lot. There was plenty of parking early in the morning when we started the run but the lot got pretty full by the time we left. If you visit OCParks often, annual passes are available for purchase at the ranger’s station. IMG_20160327_101619.jpg Continue reading