Dripping Cave Hallow Oak Trail


Activity: Day Hike

7.5 miles, 975’ elevation change, 3.5 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: 5-25-20

Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness is a wonderful area especially in the Spring when everything is green. It is very popular with hikers and mountain bikers. I enjoy the park mostly on two wheels, but it is fun to do some hikes as well, since you can see things at a slower pace and absorb the area in a way that you wouldn’t be able to with a bike.

Okay… full disclosure I went there to mountain bike with my sailing and mountain biking friend and his teenage son, but there was an issue with my bike. So, they went on and I did not want to waste the day so I headed out on foot. I saw them later on the trail ending their ride, and I was still just beginning. Lol, that is the difference between hiking and biking.

The Aliso and Woods Wilderness Park is a wonderful area filled with rolling hills, with some oak groves, and lots of fun mountain biking trails as well as hiking. Most of the time they are one in the same, but not always, so on foot you can see parts of the park that you wouldn’t on a bike. Case in point the famous “Wrecked Car”. I imagine that some flash flood from days gone by swept this car through the canyon depositing it in a place you just would not expect to see it. Then climbing around on some of the rocks and into some openings or over hangs such as Dripping Cave would need to be done on foot.

So Dripping Cave, first of all the only time this cave would drip would be during a rain storm. Also it is more of an over hang then a cave, but that being said it is still fun to checkout. It is sometimes called Robber’s Cave as it was a hideout for the 1850’s Old West Bandito Juan Flores. It did not end well for the bandit and his gang maybe they needed a bigger cave to hideout in?

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel
A flash floods somehow delivered this wrecked car into this ravine from days gone by. Now it is a spectacle along the path.
The Hikers Code: Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing behind, kill nothing but time. 

Thanks for coming along to a area that is one of my favorites, mostly to mountain bike, but on this day I discovered that it was great to get out on my own to legs while ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’. Great day and there are many more great days so please stay with me by doing these few simple things LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. Get a shirt, buff, and hat like mine at SHOP APPAREL. Go to the menu and you will find more than a dozen PBTA sites in which to lose yourself or find yourself whichever you might be in the mood for. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

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Las Ramblas Trail

San Clemente

North Los Mares, Prima Desecha, and Ramblas Trail 

Activity: Day Hike

5.3 Miles, 885’ elevation gain, 2.25 hours duration, Rated Moderate.  

Date: 5-12-20.  

There were 180 degree panoramic views from the top featuring visual candy from Dana Point Headlands to the North and Oceanside to the South including white water views of San Clemente Beach and Doheny Beach.  I traveled through the green rambling hills of San Clemente enjoying a variety of wildflowers and the Blue Pacific.  

This hike goes into my urban hike category which to me doesn’t mean hiking through downtown LA, but the point of view that anytime you are in view and sound of urban sprawl than it is of the urban variety.  If you follow my blog then you know that I am all about the wilderness, but the reality is you can’t always be in the wilderness, away from it all enjoying the solitude and the solace of nature.  So hikes like Las Ramblas in San Clemente are the next best thing, because even as I looked down at homes instead of fir trees it was at least fascinating because the homes that butt up against nature are usually pretty darn nice and that was indeed the case in San Clemente, highlighting everything from fairly normal nice homes, all the way up to mini mansion and even a few of the full on variety of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  

But the ocean views it afforded certainly put it in another category all together, so Las Ramblas was indeed a special hike and I look forward to hiking some of the other trails in the area.  Speaking of which: San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System.

Oceanside to the South, San Clemente in the center, and Dana Point Harbor to the North.
Hiking and outdoor activities is Mother Nature’s Gym. So I say, “Corona Virus Take a Hike”! – Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
It’s not hiking, it’s life (Transposed from it’s not fitness, it’s life)

Thanks for joining me ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ along the rambling hills of San Juan Capistrano above San Clemente on Las Ramblas Trail. Even urbanish hikes are good as long as you stretch the legs, fill the lungs, get outdoors and let your mind ramble, giving yourself a respite from the busy hectic, frantic, lives below. Keep in mind that person with the beautiful mansion, isn’t truly happy because they are rushing around like crazy paying for all of that lol. They probably wish they had more free time to hike and take care of their ulcer. So don’t fret about all of that because if you have your health in body, mind, and soul then you got quite a lot. If you enjoy PBTA then please show me by leaving a LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. Go to the menu and find some more location where you can become inspired and hike, enjoy nature and adventure. Keep in mind that each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Keep the sun out of your eyes with a hat from SHOP APPAREL, which not only looks great, carries the mantra, but helps support this endeavor.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Bommer Ridge-Slow ‘n Easy-El Moro Canyon-Mach 1-Rattlesnake Loop


Activity: Day Hike

7.5 Miles, 1217’ elevation change, 3.5 hour duration, rated: Hard

Date 4-14-20

Crystal Cove State Park in the Spring Time is green and flowering. It is a great time to find that balance between the stressed out feeling of a busy work a day life and the peaceful tranquil feeling that getting out into nature can bring. We call that feeling ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’. Stretching the legs, getting the heart beat up, filling the lungs with the good ocean air and engage all of your senses with a prescription of adventure in nature.

This particular half day hike has a fair amount of mileage to it, pretty descent elevation gain, and you can throw in a steep rocky section or two for good measure. As far as views, this hike has the scenic views such as Saddle Back and other more distant mountains inland, as well as the blue Pacific, much of the time you can catch a lovely view of Catalina Island to cap off the trek. Then down in the bottom of the canyon is a shady oak grove, which is a welcome respite from the midday sun.

Picking a trail is like picking a hotel room. Do you want Ocean View or Mountain Vista or perhaps you prefer a View of the Canyon? That is one of the great things about Crystal Cove State Park, there is a lot of variety in what to see, how easy or difficult of an outing you are looking for, and how far you would like to hike. I have documented some of my Crystal Cove State Park hikes. The links are posted below for your reference. Checkout the links to tailor your outing to the time and effort available for that day.

Crystal Cove State Park Hikes

Gyms are closed, all except Mother Nature’s Gym. So I say, “Corona Virus Take a Hike”! – Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
Crystal Cove State Park is enjoyed by hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers.
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel
“It’s not where you take the trail, it’s where the trail takes you.” 
The Face Mask have become part of hiking popular trails. Here I am wearing my stylish PBTA Face Gator and Cap. Besides the New Age Covid-19 deterrent it is good protection from wind, sun, dust, and bugs.

As always thanks for tagging along. ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ is a perfect way to basically take a deep breath and calm yourself down. We all can get a little stressed out getting the kids from this checkup with the doctor, to that with the dentist, Covid Test, don’t forget the orthodontist, add the dermatologist, and then of course a trip to the pharmacy, okay now you know what my last couple weeks looked like, lol. So, to get out into nature even if it is your go to local hike, like Crystal Cove State Park is for me, a couple hours or so in the great outdoors really recharges the battery. To keep the enthusiasm up and get inspired stay tuned by these extremely important steps, (especially to PBTA), LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT and SHARE. If you go to the menu above you will see that PBTA goes to many locations throughout the West. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Once you get inspired and decide on where to go you will need to outfit yourself. I have the perfect suggestion: SHOP APPAREL. Not only will you be looking and feeling the adventure you will be carrying the mantra ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Castaways Park Loop


Activity: Day Hike, Scenic Views

2.5 miles, elevation change 30’, 1 hour duration, rated Easy

A nice little hike with some scenic views of Newport Harbor. I started this hike with my friend Adam. I think in all the hikes that I have done with Adam he has finished like only a couple. First of all, he is really not a hiker, I have to say. Secondly, he is easily distracted with long stops for photos, and to smell the roses, so to speak. Heaven forbid if he should run into tourists. He quickly becomes a tour guide and will spend an exorbitant amount of time filling them in on all the ‘Must Do’s’ in the area. “Have you been to Pirates Cove?” If he sees anyone taking pictures his first question is would you like me to get a picture of both of you? At that point they should just run, because otherwise the one quick pic becomes a complete photo shoot and he is posing the entire family. So I just shake my head and continue on the hike. That Adam is a real character, to say the least.

But I digress, back to the Castaways Park Loop Hike. We started the hike in the parking area almost under the bridge on PCH then headed towards Back Bay along the little sandy beach with the bluff above. The hike then goes up the steep bluff. Once on top there are sweet views of Newport Harbor and the Back Bay. There is a pedestrian byway along the back of expensive homes and the bluff which leads to Castaways Park.

The park has some grassy areas, and then some fantastic tributes to the US Marines. There is signage regarding the foliage and also information on the history of the park and area. From there I just wound down the hill and made my way back to the car in the lot near the bridge, because of course I lost Adam along that sandy beach at the very beginning, lol.

Newport Beach Harbor leading toward the Back Bay with famed Fashion Island in the distance.

Thanks for joining Adam and I while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, well… we were pursuing that balance together for at least a good five minutes, before Adam stopped to examine something or other, lol. Stay in touch with us by these simple moves: COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW. If you go up to the menu you will get some great ideas for your own chance for that balance that we speak so fondly of between the busy, hectic, craziness of our everyday lives to a more stress free, harmonious existence through adventures in nature. The locations you see in the menu are all separate websites and thus need to be FOLLOWED independently. Please pick up a top quality, high performance PBTA hat or a shirt, that will help support this website, at SHOP APPAREL .

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

No Name Ridge/Poles/Rattlesnake Trail



Activity: Day Hike, Bird Watching

>7 Miles, 1,289’ elevation Change, 3.5 hours duration, rated: Moderate

Date: 1-30-20

As I have said in previous postings I use Crystal Cove State Park as my local, go to training grounds to prepare for epic hikes, but Crystal Cove is much more than that. It really is a special place in itself with it‘s vast sweeping ocean vistas, views of Catalina and San Clemente Islands, the deep canyons, it’s rolling hills, oak grove, not to mention it’s tremendous beach.

You really can mix and match trails to customize your outing to just the right amount of time, and expenditure of energy. I hope that you will checkout the many hikes that I have documented here at OC Hiking ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, and find the one that matches what you want to do on that day, there are hikes that are short such as 2 or 3 miles to longer hikes that are around 9 miles. There are 18 miles of hiking trails in the park, and the park actually connects with neighboring wilderness areas, so as I said you can make your hike easy, hard, short or as long as you desire.

This hike starting at the top of the area is a great hike. Take the No Name Ridge also sometimes called the Pacific Ridge Trail, I guess depending on who’s map you are looking at. From there you will take Poles Trail off to your left, left on Mach One, then right on Rattle Snake Trail and back up the hill, to Boomer Ridge Trail which moves along the top of the park back to where you began.

I get a little apprehensive when vultures start circling over head.

We don’t stop hiking because we grow old we grow old because we stop hiking. 

This is another fun hike at Crystal Cove State Park please join me on other excursions by doing each of these steps LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and FOLLOW. It you go to the menu you will see other areas that PBTA ventures to. If you want high quality, great adventure wear than go to SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Woods End Wilderness Preserve



Activity: Day Hike

Distance 2.5 miles, 275’ elevation change, 1 hour duration, rated Moderate

This is a hike that I would consider a local hike. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do this hike, but if you live nearby or you are just looking for a different place to explore then your regular haunt then by all means this is a nice little hike. I had hiked in this area before checking out Barbara’s Lake, and my friend Adam was looking for a quick hike so we decided on this outing.

At the trailhead we met a new trail friend Mike Berry, who was a regular to this park and while he and Adam sauntered along I decided to pick up the pace and add another of the numerous trails and then promised to meet back up at the trailhead. After the hike Mike informed us about a great adventure in LA County, which I later hiked: Bridge to No Where.

The main entrance to this Preserve is off of Laguna Canyon Rd in Laguna Beach. There is a parking lot there and a parking fee machine that will except your $3. We entered on the other side at the intersection of El Toro Rd and Aliso Creek Rd. There is limited parking there along the street.

The trails that I took were: Woods End to Edison Road/Canyon Trail/Black Jack/Ridge Top Trail making a loop of about 2.5 miles for a quick 1 hour hike. The hike has views of the canyon and hills of the preserve along with the neighboring areas. When you dip down into the canyon portion you get a feeling more like the wilderness forgetting that you are surrounded by suburbia. There is a cactus area that is like a little garden which is nice.

The hike for the most part is moderate, part of it is easy, and the Black Jack portion is steep and would be rated hard other than it is only about a quarter mile in length.

All in all not a bad little local hike.

Thanks for joining Adam and myself along with our new Trail Friend Mike while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ where we eked out another little jaunt in nature. For more adventure why not FOLLOW, COMMENT, LIKE, and SHARE. The menu above will inspire you with other So Cal hikes as well as adventure up and down the West Coast..  Each of the Menu locations is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED Independently. Get some top quality PBTA logo adventure gear at SHOP APPAREL Where there is currently a SPECIAL DEAL going on. 

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure




Activity: Mountain Biking

This blog is mostly about hiking, there is not a lot of backpacking in Orange County, but there is a lot of mountain biking, so this post is about that. There is some great mountain biking in the OC and Crystal Cove is a super spot with about 24 miles or so of trails that range from beginner to expert.

Crystal Cove State Park is the county’s largest open space with 2,400 acres of wilderness and beach. It is available from 6 AM to Dusk.

Crystal Cove is basically a coastal canyon with splendid views from up top, as well as from the ridges. Phenomenal visions of the magical blue Pacific and sweet views of Catalina Island reward those ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.’ On a clear day San Clemente Island juts out of the ocean as a pleasant surprise since you don’t always see it.

The Park’s vegetation is mostly coastal chaparral some of which is pretty dense other spots are dry and rugged. In the bottom of the deep canyon is a wonderful grove of oak to provide some nice shade to an otherwise pretty sunny place.

There are big broad double track fire road paths that gain and loose elevation almost like you were on a programmed piece of gym equipment, but you are out enjoying the environment for a natural workout. Mountain bikers will get a good thigh burn climbing, and on the long descending stretches will really blast off, but be cognizant of the many hikers.

There are not as many single track trails, but they are fun and will leave you with a grin from ear to ear, as you weave like a snake, (by the way, keep an eye peeled for rattlesnakes), through the chaparral. When you’re doing all of this weaving just make sure you lean to the inside especially when there is a patch of cactus to the outside.

Crystal Cove State Park has a good community of nature lovers. Other mountain bikers are happy to provide trail information. Hikers are generous to step off the trail and let a biker by. Hikers and bikers alike greet each other with a friendly smile and a wave.

The other day I was winding along single track and a more advanced rider caught me from behind. I felt the need to push it since he was right on my 6, but he made sure to let me know to take my time, be safe, and that it’s all good.

Crystal Cove is a fabulous place to feel like you are out in nature and provides a little taste of wilderness, especially when you are down in the canyon portion with hills all around. If you think about it- that is pretty special when you are pretty much smack dab in the thriving metropolis of Newport and Laguna Beach.

That being said, the weekends can get pretty busy as this is a popular spot and with the pandemic it seems that hiking and biking are now one of the favorite activities instead of crowded gyms.

A cool thing about this area is that you can easily connect it to other nearby wilderness parks such as Laguna Coast Wilderness, Boomer Canyon, and Irvine Open Space which would then give you a net work of more than 50 miles of trail.

Thanks for joining my sailing and mountain biking buddy Steve and I on our mountain biking adventures at Crystal Cove, fun times to be sure! What a place to spend a couple hours, and as often as possible. I did not talk about individual trails, but if you go back and look at ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure- Orange County Hiking“ and review posts that concern Crystal Cove you will find pictures and stories regarding individual routes: No Name Ridge/Mach One/Boomer Ridge is one such trek, No Name Ridge/No Dogs/Moro Canyon/W. Cut Across/Rattlesnake/Red Tail/Boomer Ridge is another, No Name Ridge/Ticketron/Deer Canyon/Red Tail Ridge/Boomer Ridge Loop is a variation with some other trails mixed in. You can see the whole idea is there are a lot of different trails at Crystal Cove so you can mix and match trails depending on the difficulty you are seeking as well as how long you would like to ride. Keep in mind they are from a hiking prospective, but most of the hiking trails are also mountain biking trails. Conversely some of the popular single track mountain biking sections you will find hikers on them.

Hey do you like the logo performance gear in my picture? Need a technical sports shirt, hat, or face gator? Then virtually bike on over to SHOP APPAREL.

‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ seeks shelter from this crazy world of ours and some peace by experiencing soulful spots all over the West. Checkout the menu above for a compass pointing to Adventure. If you enjoyed this post then please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Ghost Rock



3.5 Miles, 603’ elevation change, 2 hour duration, rated Moderate

January 2, 2020

If you are looking for a quick hike in the Laguna Beach area this is a good one. It has coastal canyons, scrub brush, an oak grove which provides some nice shade for a portion of the hike, interesting rock formations, and on the upper portion of the hike there are views of the OC, Saddle Back and far off mountains. While on the upper portion you could add a short distance to gain some Pacific Ocean views in the other direction.

But as the title of this post suggestions this article is about interesting rock formations. Some that you can climb into for a photo op and then the star of this post the Ghost Rock makes this a fun hike especially for kids. Pay attention because Ghost Rock is not right on the trail and it is in a fenced off area. This is not a long hike, however there is certainly an up hill section and it comes all at once.

The park is open 8AM to 5PM. There is a $3 dollar parking fee, and portapotties are available. I did this trail, Laurel Canyon-Laurel Spur-Willow Trail Loop, going counter clockwise, last year I did it going the opposite direction. Both are good, but if you would rather have the steep section going up instead of down then go counter clockwise.

Ghost Rock
Where are the ‘Ghost Busters’ when you need them? Boooo!
“Hike more. Worry less.”

Thanks for joining Adam, my racketball buddy, and I ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ at Ghost Rock, a fun hike to be sure. Don’t forget to LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. The great PBTA Cap and high performance moisture wicking shirt, you see pictured, can be yours for a nominal price at SHOP APPAREL, which helps support this site. Speaking of websites PBTA hosts many different sites all categorized by area. Check them out for inspiration and to gather information on fantastic adventures all over the West. Each is a separate website and thus needs to be Followed independently.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System


6.5 miles, 1,105’ elevation change, 3 hour duration, rated Hard

August 21, 2020

This hike is part of the San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System.  The area has a lot of up and down hills above some very nice homes.  It is a good workout with views of the Pacific, Dana Point Harbor and Doheny Beach.  

In the later part of the Summer the hills are brown and there are few wild flowers, but some.  This is particular hike is what I would describe as eclectic.  You really have a little bit of everything thrown together, most of the trail is double track or fire road, some portions are single track, but on this particular hike there is some asphalt and even some sidewalk hiking in a neighborhood and along a busy street.  

I call this type of hike an urban hike.  The reason isn’t that you aren’t hiking in some wilderness type of hills because you are, but I call it an urban hike because seldom are you out of view of the urban sprawl.  The houses down below are exceptional, however when I go out into nature I want to get away from that.  Delgado Canyon Trail was the only section going up a ravine that you don’t have views of houses and cars, that section of course was my favorite.  My next favorite section was Patriot Trail and seeing the Stars and Stripes flying high on a proper flag pole.  

I appreciate that this hike was a loop because it is alway more fun to be discovering new places, but now that I have done that and seen multiple different trails in the San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System I don’t need to go all the way down into the neighborhood below, and would rather do some out and back and stay a little more into nature.  

This is a good place for the residences of San Juan Capistrano and area to get some hiking in.   

Patriot Trail
Delgado Canyon
I added Harbor View Trail onto my hike, it added a little over 1/2 mile and a little additional elevation change.

“Hiking is the best workout! You can hike for three hours and not even realize you’re working out, and hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.” – Jamie Luner

Thanks for joining me as I hiked up and down hills in San Juan Capistrano, not quite the nature experience that I thrive on, but still pretty nice hike, and great training for my up coming Summit attempt at Mount Langley. I am really excited to be climbing to a much higher altitude than I have in the past, so this hike today with the temperature in the 80’s with good up and down elevation change is just what I need to prepare, and was a great test for my line of Adventure wear. My PBTA Logo Cap kept the sun off my face. My PBTA Logo Neck/Face Gaiter kept my neck from burning and it doubled as a Covid-19 Mask when passing fellow hikers on tight trails. And my PBTA Logo High Performance Moisture Wicking Tee kept me comfortable and not wringing wet. Get yours today at SHOP APPAREL.Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ travels to a lot of great places in the West. Checkout the menu above for some ideas. Each is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED separately. They are categorized for the most part by area. Please take a moment and COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure

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