Tag Archives: Laguna Beach

BOMMER RIDGE, BIG BEND and LAGUNA RIDGE Loop Trail

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK 

Activity: Day Hike

9.5 Miles, 1,900’ elevation gain, 5 hour duration, rated Hard

8-6-20

This trek through Laguna Coast Wilderness Park starts in a neighborhood in Laguna Beach. As you climb up you get a $Million$ Dollar View, but where this hike differs from previously hiking in this area is where it dips down a mountain bike trail towards Laguna Canyon Road. (Be advised that Laguna Coast Wilderness as of June 2021 has made some new designations deeming certain trails as Mountain Bike Trails and certain trails as Hiking Trails so you might have to revise your hike somewhat.)

Part of the trail was definitely made with serious mountain bikers in mind as I spied built up ramping for high speed hairpin turns. I interviewed a Mountain Biker at the bottom of the hill on Laguna Canyon Road. I tried to get video of him as I could hear him coming down as I stepped off the trail, but he was too speedy. I mentioned, “that looks like a pretty challenging route, with rough spots, rocks, drop offs ducking branches, and even spots where a rider gets launched. He said “yeah”, with a smirking grin. I noticed he had a chest mounted camera. I confessed,  “whenever I’m on steep hard pack and dust, and attempt to brake I seem to slide and then I’m in trouble.” He replied, “I  try not to brake and just concentrate on the line.”  I’m thinking to myself, wow I don’t want to be going that fast. He obviously was an accomplished rider.  

Heading up from Laguna Canyon Road on Big Bend Trail, you know it’s hard when your heels don’t touch.  Usually when there is this sort of a gain in altitude all at once they put in switch backs… Not Big Bend. Even though it is an all at once climb and seemingly straight up I would rather take that challenge head on then be coming down that steep dusty trail and be slipping and sliding.

My personal tracker revealed that I had travel more miles then that 8 miles that my app noted.  My personal miles were at 9.5 miles.  Whether it is 8 miles or over 9 miles this journey had many good attributes to it. Very scenic with breath taking views of the Pacific and Laguna Beach, great exercise both in effort as well in length of journey.

“When we walk like we are rushing we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Another fun outing in nature the sky, the water, the hills, cactus and wildflowers, walking, hiking, just enjoying the day. It is all about ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ taking off that heavy pack of work work work, rush here and rush there, cleaning and chores, care for the kids and all of the everyday things that are needed to exist. Those are just some of the things that are a must, but you need to find a balance… to bring you back towards center. Profound experiences in nature can do bring that much needed balance. So every once in a while take off that heavy work back and trade it for a lighter day back. Stay with me for the next adventure. You can do that by these simple efforts: FOLLOW, LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT. The menu above is a guide to many more places that PBTA travels to. Check them out- maybe you will want to add them to your To Do List along with grocery shopping, dental appointments, mowing the lawn, and cleaning out the garage. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. SHOP APPAREL is an excellent source for Adventure Wear and sports that ever important mantra to help keep things in check.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

“Bloomer” Trail

BOMMER RIDGE TRAIL – OLD EMERALD ROAD TRAIL

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK

Activity: Day Hike

8.5 miles, 1160’ elevation gain, 4 hour duration, rated Moderate

6-11-21

On this mid June day I nicknamed Bommer Ridge Trail “Bloomer” Trail. The prickly pear cactus are in bloom and it made the hike very special. I first came upon the delightful sight along Bommer Ridge Trail, but the very best blooms, as I took the loop clockwise, was on Old Emerald Road Trail, past the oak grove at the bottom of the hike. As I worked my way up the hillside there was a large garden of the prickly pear cactus stock full of blooms.

I always prefer a loop hike to just out and back. I love to see as much territory as possible and it beats just back tracking. Bommer Ridge Trail afforded wonderful views of the entire area, the mountains such as Saddleback and others farther off in the distance, the canyon below, as well as the Pacific and even glimpses of Catalina Island through the rising coastal fog. I dropped down Old Emerald Trail which quickly took an Easy hike and bumped it up a notch to Moderate. It was a somewhat steep descent and of course what goes down has to climb back out so it was a nice workout.

Old Emerald Falls Trail from the bottom of the hike climbs into Moro Ridge Road and from there I opted to do the Fence Line Trail which I love as it winds around on a small single track which is mostly for mountain bikes so listen for them while on this trek. When the mountain bike route runs it’s course then its back on Boomer or in this case “Bloomer” Ridge Trail and back to the trailhead.

Life is like a cactus thorny but beautiful.

Thanks for joining me on “Bloomers” Trail ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. The cactus flowers were wonderful and what a great way to find a little balance in ones life by getting exercise, breathing fresh air, taking in the sight of canyon, mountain, ocean, island, and of course the star of this episode the blooming cactus flower. Join me next time by leaving a COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you go up to the menu near the top of the page you will find more adventures to behold in many areas of the West. Each is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Top quality PBTA branded adventure wear can be obtained at SHOP APPAREL. There is a 30% OFF FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL on all PBTA Cotton Tee’s. Simply message me with your order to score the SPECIAL DEAL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Mentally Sensitive Trail Loop

ALISO AND WOODS CANYONS REGIONAL PARK

LAGUNA BEACH

Activity: Day Hike

4.5 miles, 880’ elevation change, >2 hour duration, rated Hard

Date: 7-29-20

I thought this was sort of an interesting name for the trail and wondered how it came to be named “Mentally Sensitive Trail.” Could it be that it was a steep trail and you need to be prepared and in the proper frame of mind?  Could it be a thought such as “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure”, where the goal of this blog is to be out enjoying nature in a rather robust and adventurous activity seeking to find a balance between the crazy work a day world of hurry up, deadlines and performance with a more zen like feeling from nature.

It turns out that the Park Rangers back in the late 80’s and early 90’s were trying a more positive message instead of No Overnight Camping, No Biking, No Hiking… No, no, no! They attempted a more politically correct feel with “Environmentally Sensitive Area” hoping people would get the hint and would stay out of protect nesting grounds for instance.  Well the “Outlaw” mountain bikers went anyway not being able to help themselves when they saw the challenge of this steep descent dropping into the canyon below. The bikers, according to the ranger, scratched off the “Enviro” part of the sign leaving only “mentally Sensitive” and the name stuck. It has since become an official trail, and that being said, be on the lookout for mountain bikers on the narrow hairpin switch backs. 

I did the trail counter clockwise.  If I do it again I will switch. The trail starts out at a park which provides a bathroom. The way down the trail is rough, steep, with as I said, hairpin turns. The trail has some rocks and drops. It is single track, hard pack with a dusting of dirt making is slippery and somewhat treacherous. My trek back up was more open with sweeping turns and not as rough of a trail. The trail end empties to a place I am very familiar with from my mountain biking, Aliso Woods. 

One hiker greeted me in German. I answered in German that I didn’t speak German. He was impressed saying that many people don’t even recognize his speech as German. What he said to me is you have to be strong to do this hike. He is right. 

A woman warned me of a rattlesnake on the trail. It must have been a good size as she said she believed it had just ate a gopher, and thus was fat and lazy which is far better that aggressive and dangerous. Well, it is still dangerous, but mostly if you are intentionally disturbing it, but accidentally stepping on it I am sure would unfortunately end with the same result. The poisonous and deadly viper was gone when I went by. 

I enjoyed the hike as it had many fun elements to it.  It is a pretty area, and because of the steep terrain I suppose could be “Mentally Sensitive” while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.‘

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I have a therapist. Her name is nature.

Thanks for joining me on this “Mentally Sensitive“ trek ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. To stay connected with PBTA for more fun outings please FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE. If you click on the menu above you will see more areas that PBTA ventures to on your behalf. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Go to SHOP APPAREL for your adventure wear wants and needs.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Woods End Wilderness Preserve

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK

JAMES DILLEY GREENBELT 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

Barbara’s Lake Loop

Dilley’s Preserve, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Activity: Day Hike

Date: July 10, 2019

Distance: 3 miles, 350′ elevation change, 1 hour duration, rated Easy

Dilley’s Preserve is named after an advocate for green belts and natural land set aside for the enjoyment of it’s residents.  This particular hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness I have to say is not my favorite.  It is cool to see a natural lake in a dry arid environment, after all Southern California is basically a desert on the beach, but it is not quite the soul searching place that I am seeking while “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure”.  It’s not that it doesn’t have nice trails, rolling hills, and nature because it does, but it also has a busy roadway that if it is not in view, is in earshot, except when you are down in the canyon area and the sound of the bees pollinating the flowers just about drowns out the traffic noise.

The hike is easy and starts out relatively flat until you get past the lake then you get the elevation change pretty quickly.  You are now moving away from the freeway, but you at once can see that the entire property boarders neighborhoods.  So in my view this is nice for the people in the nearby neighborhoods to have an area to stretch their legs, but there are better hikes in the Laguna Coast Wilderness.

This row of pictures show some of the various paths, some you need to watch your footing.

"Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul."
“Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul.”

Barbara's Lake Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ attempts to inspire your adventurous passions for nature and so that you can find balance in your life.  Join me next time for more adventure as we all seek balance.  Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, & SHARE, and hey check out the new ‘Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure’ apparel by clicking on Shop Apparel.

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

$Million$ Dollar View – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Boat Road/Boomer Ridge Trail/Emerald Canyon Loop

Activity: Day Hike

Date: July 7, 2019

Distance: 8.5 miles, 1,632’ elevation change, 4 hour duration, rated Moderate

This particular hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park was all about the view, location, location, location as they say in real estate.  This real estate has a million dollar view, with a striking vista of Main Beach in Laguna, but really all of Laguna and beyond.

I started my hike late in the morning and the summer air was cool in the 60’s due to the marine layer that burned of within an hour.  This whole area of different trails rambles through rolling hills and canyons.  They are all somewhat similar and they are all really nice.  But it is always fun taking a trail for the first time. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a great place for a hike and as a training ground for other more strenuous hikes.

When I was researching what hike I wanted to do one site actually called this hike ”strenuous” and also pegged it at another thousand feet of elevation gain.  While this hike has some mileage to it and a couple fairly steep climbs it is definitely moderate.  I think some people measure all elevation gains not just from the low point to the high point, and this hike is different in that it has two different climbs and descents.

This whole area has great hikes, but Boat Road has a stunning view that makes it a must do.  Make sure that you take the little side trip to Spur Ridge, (refer to the trail map), which has great views and a commemorative bench to Joseph R. Sweany.  Sit down take a load off and take it all in before getting back on Boat Road and heading back down.  I guess it is boat road because I could see plenty of sailboats on the horizon, as well as motor yachts anchored in the coves.

The trail head for this hike is in a neighborhood at Gate 14.

The trails in this area are shared by hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers.  I have not seen any horses in this area.

The hike goes down into the canyon which is greener, and has some nice oaks and other trees to provide some shade which is a nice break from the full sun.

Boat Road Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure (40)

Nice shot of Laguna Beach’s Emerald Bay

Boat Road Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure (41)
Panoramic view of Laguna Beach: from Left to Right: Arch Bch Heights, Downtown, 3 Arch Bay, Treasure Isl, Sugarloaf Pt, Main Bch, Diver’s Cove, Shaws Cove, Crescent Bay, Abalone Pt.

Boat Road Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure (42)
The hills above Laguna Beach are a great place to be “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.” Join me again soon and LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT, SHARE. Find your balance enjoy a little adventure! Ya’ just gotta love it! Roger Jenkins Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself” – Amelia Earhart

Little Sycamore Canyon & Serrano Ridge Loop

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Activity: Day Hike

Date June 24, 2019

Distance: 5 miles, elevation change 900’, duration 2.5 hours, rated Moderate

This was my second hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.  The trailhead is at the Nix Nature Center where parking is $3.  The nature center is nice, but we did not get to check it out as we had just enough time to get the hike in, but will spend some time soon.

The beach in June has a lot of marine layer thus the name “June Gloom”.  The trail is less than 6 miles away from Laguna Beach, 10-15 minutes by car, but it was far enough way to have bright sunshine for the hike, and close enough that it was a delightful 70 degrees.

I followed the trail map in a clockwise direction starting on Stage Coach Trail South.  I really liked the terrain, the rolling hills, the elevation change, and the scenery.  However, in my opinion the first portion of the hike was a disappointment in that all of this beautiful nature was disturbed by the two busy roadways that the Stage Coach Trail South borders.  I will say as the hike went on I got farther and farther from the sight and the noise of the highway and the bustling world I was attempting to escape.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has many connection trails so you can mix and match them to fit your needs.  Next time I visit I will most likely leave the Stage Coach Trail out of my mix.  It was nice, but when I go out into nature I like to see nature, just nature, and not busy thoroughfares.

I really enjoyed the rest of the trail and the coastal chaparral, shady oaks, hills and dales, and the views of distant mountains in one direction and the Pacific in another .  It was a wonderful hike, and it left me wanting for more.  There are more trails to explore and Laguna Coast Wilderness also connects to other wild areas that are not far off.

Please click on the pictures below.  They all have captions.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

-Mark Twain

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure