Bear Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"A spectacular family adventure awaits on this very easy hike to a geologic rarity. The picturesque and idyllic vernal pool teems with life. The Vernal Pool Trail is without a doubt the most visited section of the Santa Rosa Plateau—and with good reason. Not only is it spectacularly beautiful, but it also contains the only example of a basalt-based vernal pool in Southern California. The plateau ridge provides wide-open vistas of the local mountains. The pool itself, when completely full, is stunning surface of the flat plain. These tiny pools of water evntually merged, forming large indentations that would fill up with seasonal rains and then disappear with the dry season— hence the term vernal, from the Latin for “spring.”"
--Alleen Riedel, Best Easy Day Hikes: Riverside (Falcon Guides).
"This trail takes you from the busy Ortega Highway corridor
into the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. Incredible vistas of
some of the wildest sections of the Santa Ana Mountains are
your reward. Despite the relatively short nature of the hike,
you very quickly lose all signs of civilization."
--Randy Vogel, Best Easy Day Hikes: Orange County (Falcon Guides).
"Bear Canyon Trail offers a pleasant introduction to the Santa Ana Mountains. The trail climbs through gentle brush and meadow country, visits Pigeon Springs, and arrives at Four Corners, the intersection of several major hiking trails through the southern Santa Anas. One of these trails takes you to Sitton Peak for splendid, far-reaching views. Along the trail, refreshing Pigeon Springs welcomes hot and dusty hikers to a handsome glen. Bear Ridge Trail offers an alternate return route and a way to make a loop trip out of this jaunt around Bear Canyon."
--John McKinney, Orange County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster).
"This backcountry trail winds through shady stands of ancient oaks and exposed chaparral-covered hillsides at the north end of the wilderness area. The trail passes weather-carved granite, grassy parklands, seasonal streams, and Pigeon Spring, an oak glen with a stone watering trough. Along the way are scenic views of San Juan Canyon, Sitton Peak, Los Pinos Peak, Bear Canyon, and Tenaja Canyon."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes Around Orange County (Day Hike Books).
Not the most scenic or most exciting hike, but on a pleasantly cool late Winter or early Spring day, the Bear Canyon-Bear Ridge Loop makes a nice 7 mile hike through an interesting variety of terrain and habitat in the Cleveland National Forest. (Date hiked: March 12, 2011.) Read the full write-up at: http://www.greeneadventures.com/2011/03/23/bear-canyon-bear-ridge-loop-a-nice-hike-on-a-nice-day/
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