Tag Archives: Things to do in Laguna Beach

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

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