Tag Archives: Things to do in ALISO Viejo

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.‘

PBTA YouTube Channel
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

Dripping Cave Hallow Oak Trail

ALISO AND WOODS CANYON WILDERNESS PARK

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?

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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

Little Sycamore Canyon/Serrano Ridge/West Canyon Loop

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK

ALISO VIEJO, CALIFORNIA

Activity: Day Hike

Date: 9-25-19

Distance: 4.2 miles, 665’ elevation change, 2 hour duration, rated Moderate.

I have hiked in this area multiple times and it is a super place to hike. The only problem I have with it is the park borders busy freeways and roadways. As a Wilderness lover, a peace and quiet lover, a tranquil and natural lover- the further I get away from the noise of the outside world the better. So this particular hike was an attempt to improve upon an earlier hike I posted. That earlier outing I loved the interior portions of the hike, but was disappointed in the parts that had vehicles visible or even within earshot. The route of this hike covered more of the good parts of the previous hike and less of what I did not enjoy. It was a little shorter, and being where this park is located, did as I have stated, have sights and sounds that were not conducive to my ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ zen like moments I was craving, however it was an improvement so with that goal in mind it was a success. Once again the interior was really nice.

There is a $3 Parking fee and a nice Visitor Center to checkout. Great hike.

“When life gets you down, tell it to go take a hike.” -Roger Jenkins
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure 

I would like to thank you very much for following me as together we are ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. As I write this post we are in the mist of a world wide crises, the Corona Virus Crisis. The news coverage brings home fear, stress, apprehension, sadness, but it also bring thoughts of thankfulness for the medical community and first responders that are on the front line of this war on a germ. The strange thing is to get through this we need to stand as a community, as together we must all be more vigilant about sanitation and hygiene , but on the other hand we must stand alone with social distancing so as not to propagate this danger further. So what can we do besides prepare with sanitary chemicals, stock up, (not hoard), on essentials like food, medicine, toilet paper (I think everyone as gone a bit overboard on that as I have not seen a store yet that is not sold out and the entire paper isle bare), this seems to be the era of instead of Y2K, YTP lol. We can do our social distancing, we have all given up on going out to eat, or the gym, or the movies, sporting events from youth all the way through to professional. At this time we have closed all institutions of learning for online education, and places of faith for online church, or just praying on our own. So in a matter of a little more than a week the whole world has turned upside down. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly feeling the stress worrying about my family, my friends, my world… The stock market has in a short amount of time lost so much of what took so long to gain. Stress, apprehension, fear, sadness seems to be the new norm. The opposite of what I try to promote with ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ . If you follow my different PBTA blogs you know that I like to quote an Adventurer, Naturalist, Poet, or other lover of nature, and adventure under the PBTA logo slide, but today I have posted a Roger Jenkins PBTA orginal that I take to heart “When life gets you down, tell it to go take a hike.” Doctors are saying that we need exercise to keep our immune system up, that sunlight provides not only vitamin D, but I saw one place that said that the Corona Virus is killed by it, (not sure if that was from a reputable source or not, but certainly a little vitamin D is good for us.), so I say, if you are not on ‘Shelter in Place‘ or ‘Lockdown‘ of course, that going for a hike can do a body good, is good for the psyche, and has always been good for the soul.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure