Whiting Ranch

El Toro, California

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
In 1991, Orange County opened its newest large open-space preserve, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. The park has grown to encompass some 4,300 acres along the rim of the communities of Lake Forest and El Toro. Ninety percent of it burned in the 2007 Santiago Fire, but this trip was scarcely touched.
101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert

DESCRIPTION FROM:

101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert

by Jerry Schad and David Money Harris (Wilderness Press)

In 1991, Orange County opened its newest large open-space preserve, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. The park has grown to encompass some 4,300 acres along the rim of the communities of Lake Forest and El Toro. Ninety percent of it burned in the 2007 Santiago Fire, but this trip was scarcely touched.

© 2013 Jerry Schad and David Money Harris/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: El Toro
Distance: 4.4
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: 7 a.m.–sunset, October–June
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Lake Forest and El Toro
Local Maps: USGS 7.5-minute El Toro
Topo Map: Whiting Ranch Topographic Map
Guide Book: 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

4/3/2009

I didn't do the full 5 miles, just some 1/4 mile stretches along different points of the coast. It's a very easy stroll along the beach, with opportunity to walk to beach-level and hike along the rocky shore (which is way more fun that walking on concrete!). It was very pretty, very peaceful, and relaxing. You can watch the surfers, stroll along the rocks, or sit and read a book. It would be very romantic to take your loved one on a walk along this shore. It's definitely a relaxing experience and not much of a "hike". 4 stars for scenery and atmosphere.

8/1/2005

This was an awesome experience but I would characterize it more as a 4 mile "walk on the beach" ending with a fairly steep 500 vertical foot climb up to Torrey Pines state park. Once at Torrey Pines, you can extend the journey by hiking any of a number of loops overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The hike up to Torrey is well worth the effort. Some of the loops include descriptions of the odd mix of desert/marine plant life that inhabits the bluffs.

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