A hike at Santiago Oaks Regional Park is a fun hike in the northern foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. This past weekend Ashley and I had a chance to go hiking in Santiago Oaks Regional Park. This was our first visit to Santiago Oaks Regional Park which offers sweeping vistas of the surrounding areas. Santiago Oaks Regional Park is truly a nature lovers paradise and makes for great hiking in Orange County. This is a great place to hike and a must do for any hiker in Orange County.
Here. Because this is a regional park, parking costs 5 dollars.
Cleveland National Forest. Santiago Oaks Regional Park also has a lot of wildlife. It is very obvious from the tracks that deer frequently visit the park as well as other animals. We did see Mountain Lion tracks while hiking at Santiago Oaks Regional Park. It makes since because wherever the deer are you have mountain lions.
Description of Hike: There are numerous hiking trails located inside Santiago Oaks Regional Park. With the large amount of trails, there are options for a shorter easier hike and options for a longer strenuous hike. (depends on the amount of time you have to hike in this Orange County Park) Click Here for a map of the hiking trails at Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Ashley and I did approximately a 4 mile hike while we were visiting Santiago Oaks Regional Park. We have listed all the trails we took below. This hike took us a leisurely 3 hrs because we stopped many times to take pictures and enjoy our time being out in nature. From the parking lot we took the Santiago Creek Trail to the Towhee trail, right on the wilderness trail, left on Oak Trail, right on Bumble Bee trail, Right on Cactus Canyon Trail, right on Barham Ridge, Right on Mountain Goat Trail, Left on Santiago Creek Trail the left on the Historic Dam Trail to the parking lot. The trails at Santiago Oaks Regional Park are well mark and it is very easy to navigate around in the park. Make sure to ask for a map of the trails at the entrance to the park. Portions of this park have a lot of hills, so be ready for a work out if you chose to tackle the trails that go up these hills like Ashley and I did. Click Here for the Santiago Oaks Regional Park Brochure.
There is also a historic component to the park. Santiago Oaks Regional Park has a historic dam that is well worth the trip to see. There was plenty of water being released from the dam when Ashley and I were there. It was also the first time that Ashley and I have seen a frog on any of the hikes we have done in Southern California. We also saw two pond turtles while on the trail that goes by the historical dam, something we have never seen on any of our other hikes.
Rating: Elevation Gain: 700 ft. (Moderate: Ridge line and steepness), Distance: 4 Miles Roundtrip (Easy), Note: due to the wide variety of trails any hike here can be as easy or as strenuous as you want to make it.
Time to Complete Hike: 1.5 - 2.5 hours.
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