Wow, Southern California is so different than Northern California and that is why I am so happy with my decision to stay in California for two contracts. There is so much to see in this wonderful state and I am in love with the fraction of the state I have explored.
Finding this park was a bit of a challenge. At first, when we searched Red Rock Canyon on Google Maps, it took us to this residential area that was completely fenced off. We had to pull over and I did some research. The best way was to start at the Borrego Trail which the parking for the trailhead is directly next to the Ralph’s off of Portola and Bake. The address we used was
Whiting RanchWilderness Park Borrego Parking Lot 26701 Portola Parkway, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
I mostly came to get to the beautiful red rocks, which is about a 6 mile hike roundtrip. The trail terrain ranges from sand, rock and dirt with easy to challenging moments. Definitely pack water and snacks.
The views are so worth the hike when you get to the beautiful red rock formations. But remember to look out for wildlife. This trail is known for mountain lions, coyotes, and rattlesnakes.
Also, the Borrego trail that forks off to the Red Rock Canyon Trail is shared with mountain bikers so definitely do not hike with headphones on or you will most likely get run over.
For a moment, you forget that you are in the OC. It almost feels more like Arizona.
The canyon is tranquil and mostly secluded. The first time we went we were literally the only ones there and that was between 2 and 5pm on a Tuesday.
The second time we went, it was much more congested and noisy. We went on Wednesday morning but it was also a few days after Christmas so we assumed morning plus the holidays increased the traffic.
The second time we went, my family was in town so we had some company on our hike.
Also, when the sun was at it’s peak, the rocks looked much more red as you can tell from comparing to the pictures when we went closer to sunset.
Just about every time we have hiked, we have found rock balancing or cairns. I decided to read up on what the deal was with people stacking stones in the wilderness. Pro-cairn peeps state this is an art form used for meditation or simply a signal to other hikers of trails or vortexes. Anti-cairn peeps state that these rock formations are polluting and disturbing nature. This is a small cairn however there are areas that are infested with hundreds of stacks of rocks like the one linked here in Colorado. Pretty interesting to think about.