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
The wind finally died down sometime in the early mornings. We woke up to a beautiful day and took a hour long hike towards the cinder cones on the jeep trail. During our walk, we noted that ecosystem here is really different compared to Hole in the Wall where it was mostly young Joshua Trees and cactus versus short brush near the lava beds. For the second time during our trip, we noted how nice it would be, if we had our mountain bikes with us on this trail.
We arrived at the Kelso Depot Ranger Station around lunch time. This ranger station serves as the main headquarters of Mojave National Preserve. It looked much more established than the Hole in the Wall Ranger Station. In the early 1900s, Kelso Depot was a hotel and restaurant built to provide services for passengers of the railroads passing through the area. With the railroad industry declining after World War II, this area became desolate. The building was transferred to National Park Services in 1994 when the national preserve was established and the restoration of the building began in 2002.