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
Camping at O’Neill Regional Park
Mountain biking Arroyo Trabuco – Tijieras Creek
OC Parks – O’Neill Regional Park Main Webpage
A couple weeks ago, Louis and I both had a last minute 4-day weekend and decided we would use it to backpack the North Ozette Coast located within the Olympic Wilderness and National Park area. Similar to the Lost Coast write up, we will break up this trip into several different posts including daily trail reports and tide reports.
Olympic Wilderness Coast is located 4.5 hours west of Seattle. The upper most portion of the coast (Shi Shi Beach) is a part Olympic National Park, while the reminder of the norther coast is a part of Olympic Wilderness area. Our choice of transportation for this trip is taking a flight from LAX to Seattle and renting a car to drive to the coast. Continue reading
The drive from Medocino to Redwood State and National Park was about 3.5 hours. We checked out from Glendeven Inn at 11AM and arrived at Kuchel visitor’s center at 3pm. The park ranger gave us some car camping choices and we decided to camp at Elk Prairie campground for the next two nights. Campsites at the park before Memorial Day weekend can be reserved at a first come first serve basis. Elk Prairie is located within the Redwood State park boundary. Much of the campsites are located underneath old growth redwood trees, camping underneath these old growth trees definitely gave a mystic feel the whole experience. Continue reading
The Quick and Dirty:
Location: Momyer Creek Trail to Dobbs Cabin campground, see rough trail map from Caltopo.
Distance: About 3.8 miles to Alger Creek campground and 5.9 miles to Dobbs Cabin (Dobbs) campground
Difficulty: Moderate, it’s a short hike for a backpacking trip but there’s about 1,500 ft of elevation gain to Dobbs campground.
Duration: Overnight backpacking trip
Dogs Allowed? Yes, Dakota joined us on this trip as dogs are allowed in San Bernardino National Forest
Best time to visit: Whenever there is water! Water in the creeks seem to be plentiful on this trail, we’ve been during spring and fall and have always had luck. You may want to avoid hiking during the hottest months of the summer as the switchback section are exposed to full sun.
Trail Parking: Located close to the town of Forest Falls, there is a designated parking lot next to the trail head and parking has been manageable the last two times we went hiked this trail. On weekends, if you arrive later in the day, the lot does eventually fill up with day hikers. National Forest pass is required to park at the trail head.
Nice trail sign at the trail head
The Quick and Dirty:
Location – Starting off at the south end of O’Neill Regional Park on Mesa trail, the Arroyo Trabuco – Tijeras Creek loop takes you around the city of Ranch Santa Margarita. See route on geoladders.com.
Distance – It is roughly a 14-mile loop if you don’t miss the turnout to Tijeras Creek like we did.
Terrain Type – Mix of double track and single track. Rocky stretches, creek crossings, wood stretches and sand.
Difficulty – Good for beginner-intermediate mountain biking with a few climbs where I had to descend my bike and walk up the hill
Best Time – Year-round, there are a few stream crossings that can get quite deep after a big rain storm. Personally, I do think spring is the best time to see this trail, because everything was still lush from the recent rain events.
Parking- Parking at O’Neill park’s main lot is not free, we park on El Camino Montana Road parallel to the Mesa Trail.
Chasing the sunlight at the end of the ride