4.4 miles out & back
Trying to keep my hikes fresh, I found this really awesome out & back trail out in the Whiting Wilderness Park, just off Bake Parkway in Trabuco Canyon. The trail seemed easy enough, 4.4 miles all around. So I grabbed my Osprey Kyte 36 pack and hit the trail.
The start of this trail is easy enough to find, and easy miss. There’s a small parking lot inside the Ralph’s/Chevron shopping center that if you don’t look out for you’ll drive right by. I sure did. The Ralph’s is a great spot to grab some much forgotten water, a fruit to snack on, or two, and a restroom to use before jumping on the trail
The trail starts out, and remains, an empty stream bed/service road through out most of the hike. It was nice to see water still flowing on the trail. Green plants and bushes all around.
You come across this really cute little bridge, something that brings to mind a fairytale. Snow White-ish, the disney kind. When you grow up not 20 minutes from the park and could watch the fireworks from my roof top those movies easily come to mind.
My partner decided a dance across the wooden stage was worth everything.
The stream slowly pulls away to trees and groves. They look like crooked fingers digging out of the earth. Trying to grab those who would pass by. Cobb webs clinging to their grotesque finger nails.
Out of the trees you come to open space, stone hills above you, cutting the groves in sections. Brown grasses clinging to whatever surface they can. There are beautiful flowers throughout the trail, adding dots of color the earthly tones.
This trail is a popular one, with runners and fellow hikers traveling out and back. Mountain bikers traveling out before having to take another way back around to the parking lot, or where ever it is they came from.
You wind your way back through some more groves and along dried up old river, probably more like stream, beds. More color found in more flowers growing at the feet of the large trees. Reminding me of small children at their parent’s feet.
If you’d like to head to the Red Rock trail then hang a left when you come to the two picnic tables. It’s a good spot to take a break, enjoy the area you’re in, maybe refuel with some fruits or veg, trail mix is always amazing!!
There will be a sign for Red Rock Trail and Mustard Road. Go to the left and up the little wash bed. Making a sharp right onto the bank. You’ll travel a little over a half a mile then all of a sudden you’ll come upon this really cool view. Red rocks out of nowhere will just rise out of the grass and earth. Red that reminds me of the warm southwest sun.
Pocked with holes. The rocks look much different than the hills along the wash beds further back on the trail.
Once you’re here you’ve reached the end. Now you just turn around and retrace your steps. This was a really fun, really easy trail that any decently fit person could do with out much trouble. At the time I went the water was still flowing, as you can see, so maybe hiking in your crocs isn’t the best idea, maybe later in the summer.
Something I love about out & back trails is your chance to revist the trail right away, but see it from a different direction. A different angle. What was missed because your back was turned is now brought to light.
If you get a chance to try out this trail, maybe want to introduce that friend or family member to some more nature? Then this is a great trail for you to try.
This is a really beautiful trip with a decent variety of scenes as you travel up the trail. You won’t be disappointed!
CAMERA: Canon 7D // LENS: Tokina 10-17 Fisheye