Tag Archives: Newport Beach

“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

Buck Gully Trail

CORONA DEL MAR

Activity: Day Hike

4.5 miles, 450’ elevation change, duration 2 hours, rated Easy

Date: 7-23-20

This is a nice little trail in the Corona Del Mar community. Single track with a little creek running through it with plush green vegetation and much of the hike is shaded. It is quite delightful and a hidden gem for those in the area.

Near the end of the trail is a fork. My app said to take the trail to the right. There is a trail, but it doesn’t go far nor does it go anywhere. If you go to the left it takes you up to San Joaquin Hills Rd which is another trailhead.

I retraced my tracks down from the San Joaquin Hills trailhead. Halfway back to the start of the trail is Bobcat Trail. I took Bobcat Trail which goes back up to that same San Joaquin Hills Rd. There is a vista there looking out towards the Pacific which also affords nice views of Newport Harbor. It added a couple miles on to my trip, doubled the elevation, and added another hour of trail time. All good things in my book.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel
Be one, like a reflection, be sure to balance yourself.  

Thank for joining me on this lovely little hike in Corona Del Mar. They did a pretty good job of giving you the feel of nature. As is usually the case in SoCal, once you climb up out of the canyon to the ridge then you see all the humanity, but at the same time some nice views. It is all about finding some balance between the two and in your life. To continue along this journey of ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’: FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE. The above menu can be your transporter into this world of nature and adventure each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. If you need some snazzy adventure wear checkout SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

CRYSTAL PEAK PARK LOOP

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK

Activity: Day Hike

7 miles, 1,115’ elevation change, 3.5 hours duration, rated Difficult

Date: 7-21-20

As I have mentioned in previous posts regarding Crystal Cove State Park this is my local hike, a great training area for upcoming adventures, but it is more than that as it is a stand alone great place to hike.  It has so many positives: Pacific Ocean views, Catalina views, even San Clemente Island can be spotted on a clear day.  Then there are the mountain ranges inland including nice views of Saddle Back.  

The Park’s strength is there are lots of trails to mix and match. I invite you to browse through my Crystal Cove State Park hikes because they are all wonderful with subtle changes in views, and terrain so checkout the difficulty and length of the hike which will help you choose what is right for you on any given day.  

Crystal Peak Park Loop has some good distance and elevation changes and is rated difficult.  It starts at the top of the park and I decided to do the loop clockwise, be forewarned this puts the steepest section of the hike downhill which although this makes it easier cardio wise it can be tricky maneuvering steep slippery sections.

The trek starts on “Boomer Ridge Trail” which runs the length of the upper portion of Crystal Cove State Park. From there you will take “Slow n’ Easy.”  Don’t be fooled by the name, while you certainly should take it slow, because of the footing, there is nothing Easy about it.  This portion puts the Difficult in this hike. Slow n Easy will dump you out on “Morro Canyon Trail” which is, besides the fantastic vistas looking out to sea and towards the mountains, my favorite part of the park.  A stroll through the shady oak grove is a welcome respite from the beating sun during the summer. Take a turn on to “Poles” it will transfer you up to “Pacific Ridge Trail” which has fabulous views looking out over the canyon and the ocean blue beyond.  This trail will take you back up the Westside of Crystal Cove State Park back to beginning.  Great hike!

Besides the beautiful vistas of the ocean, canyon and distant mountains- the bottom of the canyon is my favorite featuring a delightful and cooling stroll through a lovely oak grove.
Nature, cheaper than therapy.

Nature is the answer… it doesn’t matter what the question is. Nature can bring peace of mind, make you forget your woes, provide a needed break, reduce the stress and anxiety of our crazy work a day schedule, and bring some meaning into an otherwise mundane boring week. We all need to rebalance from time to time and what a great way to do it in the pursuit, and it is a pursuit… a journey if you will… towards balance. Perfect balance is unattainable, but we can certainly strive towards that Shangri-La. Get out into nature! Get out there and adventure! ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ is good for what ails you, it cleanses the soul. Let’s stay in touch on this trek toward balance: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. Like my hat? It’s yours. Want the shirt off my back? Done. Just go to SHOP APPAREL and lay your money down and you will be sporting top quality adventure wear with the theme we need to shout from the mountain tops “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure!” Need help finding a mountain top? Go to the Menu above for all of the special places that PBTA travels to. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Castaways Park Loop

NEWPORT BEACH

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

MOUNTAIN BIKING CRYSTAL COVE

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK

NEWPORT COAST

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

Back Bay Hike

UPPER NEWPORT BAY ECOLOGICAL RESERVE LOOP

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Activity: Day Hike

Date: 11-1-19

Distance 5.25 miles, 60’ elevation gain, 2.5 hours, rated Easy

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Loop is actually over a 10 mile hike. I hiked half of the loop on this day and I hiked the other side of the bay about 6 weeks earlier. It was a very pleasant outing and a nice way to appreciate nature. The sky, the bay, the marsh, the birds… very enjoyable and a good way to get some miles in and bask in the sunshine.

I started at the Trailhead that you see on the map I have enclosed in this posting. The roadway is shared by vehicles in one direction, and bikers, joggers, and walkers in each direction. Heading in a northerly direction along the bay it is not long before you come across Big Canyon Trail, which is a nature walk within a hike. Along the Big Canyon pathway you will have plenty of educational signage to learn about the bay, the vegetation, birds, as well as the the watershed.

The later part of the hike you will gain some elevation as you head up to Vista Point, which is about the top of the bay and the top of the loop. I retraced my way back enjoying a nice afternoon and a lovely couple of hours of so.

Two blackbirds harass a large bird of prey. Two against one but he is much bigger, not sure if it is such a good idea.
“Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.”

Thanks for joining me on this little jaunt at Newport Beach’s Back Bay, the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve is for the birds, literally. If you are a birder than you will love this place as thousands of birds migrate through this reserve. If you aren’t you will enjoy the exercise, the gentle breeze, the bay and the day. Please COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW. Also checkout the menu above as there are many places to explore that will get your adventure juices flowing. Please note that they are all separate sites and thus must be followed independently.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Crystal Cove State Park

No Name Ridge/Ticketron/Deer Canyon/Red Tail Ridge/Bommer Ridge Loop

South Coast Wilderness

Near Newport Beach

Activity: Day Hike

Date: October 2019

Distance: 3.7 miles, 583’ elevation change, 90 minute duration, rated Easy

Crystal Cove is my Goto hike. It is in close proximity to my home, it boasts stupendous blue Pacific and Catalina Island views, pleasant coastal canyons, rambling hills, oak tree groves infused with fairy-tale light, and a good amount of elevation change.

I have hiked all of the trails in Crystal Cove State Park and mountain biked on a bunch of them as well. The cool thing is with all the trails in this park you can really mix and match what you are up for that day. You can decide on how steep, how long, how much time, if you want to see the top, if you want to see the bottom, which has a great beach, the middle portion has a coastal canyon, wide trails or hardly a trail, and parts of the park are more remote than others. There are some very fun mountain bike runs, and there are some pretty hard ones as well.

Then if that is not exciting enough at the top of the park, which is where I usually launch from, is right where three different portions of the South Coast Wilderness come together: Crystal Cove State Park, City of Irvine Open Space Preserve, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. So lots of choices.

The hike that I did was just what I was feeling for that Fall day. Not too long, not too short, not difficult, but there is one steep section that will get your heart pumping, scenic, and part of it is more remote. It goes from wide open broad fire road to single track with brush that is sometimes over groan, but most of the time the park keeps everything pretty ship shape. There is a smooth rock area that has a little opening which is fun to poke your head in. Something a little unusual. There are two spots in the park that can be camped at and Deer Canyon, which my hike took me past, is one of them. This could be a good place for a first time backpacking overnighted.

Crystal Cove State Park is a good playground for those who want to stretch their legs, get some fresh air in their lungs, and shake off the world for a little bit, and of course train for other outings. In other words it is a good spot to be ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.

Hiking is the answer. Who cares what the question is.

When you cannot get into the backcountry, to the fir trees, to the mountains, to the lonely desert, you still need to get somewhere, and local hikes that are still fun, enjoyable, with open space, and nature fit the bill. Besides if you aren’t doing smaller training hikes then those epic adventures are going to be rough. Thanks for joining me on such as hike at Crystal Cove State Park while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure. Now you should COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW. If you need hiking-adventure-workout-casual ware then I got just the place for you: SHOP APPAREL which is also how you can support this blog.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve loop

Newport Beach

Activity: Day Hike

Date: 9-17-19

Distance 5.2 miles, 230’ elevation change, 2.5 hours hiking time, rated Easy

The Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Loop is a nice way to spend a morning or afternoon. It is a great outing for those in the area, a way to stretch your legs, get some miles in, train for more aggressive hikes, and just to get out doors in some open space. On the bluffs surrounding much of Newport Beach’s Back Bay are nice homes, so you certainly are not out in the wilderness, which is what I enjoy the most, but like I said it is great for a local, easy, nice stroll along the back bay, saltwater marsh, mudflat, upland tidal area with it’s ebb and flood.

Some of the path is roadway, other parts are trail. This area is enjoyed by cyclists, joggers, hikers, bird watchers and even some horse lovers. Everything is well marked, and there are informative signs along the way on birds and wildlife, the area and it’s importance, and natural flora.

Along this route is the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Interpretive Center which is definitely worth a look.

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau 

Thanks for joining me ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Orange County Hiking as I unwind with a delightful walk along Newport Beach’s Back Bay. If you are looking for great little hikes in the OC this is the place to be, no matter if you just want to get outside, or if you are training for an upcoming epic adventure in the wilderness. If you look at the menu above you will see that there are many areas of the West for you to checkout. Even though they are all PBTA sites they all need to be FOLLOWED individually. Speaking of which please FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE, and if you are going to be out in nature, working out or even just lounging you will need apparel for that. Check out the ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ SHOP APPAREL site for top quality logo gear which will help support this endeavor of finding one’s self through impactful adventures in nature and find some balance in your life to counter act the crazy work a-day world in which we live.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure