Santa Ana Mountains and South Orange County. The total hike is 4.9 miles roundtrip with roughly 200 feet of elevation gain. You begin the hike at the shopping center in Ladera Ranch and take the Bluff Top Botanical Trail which overlooks the Arroyo Trabuco. This trail winds around an overlook of the canyon to a short segment along the side walk of Cecil Road before you take a dirt access trail to the right and up a hill (If you hit O'Neil drive you have gone too far). The trail intersects with the Orange County Regional Trail up top (Note there was no trail marker indicating trail names and directions for this hike). If you are confused on which way to go, head uphill and follow the ridge line trail away from the canyon. Eventually you will see the first overlook which is 0.8 miles from your start at the shopping center. At roughly 1.5 miles from the start of this hike in Ladera Ranch you will cross over a hidden cell tower and the second overlook is almost 2.5 miles from the start of the hike. One of the negative to this hike is the view of the power lines along sections of the trail. Despite the power lines, this is a a fun enjoyable urban hike. For a printable trail map of the Ladera Ranch trail system click Here.
Rating: Elevation Gain: 200 ft. (Easy), Distance: 4.9 Miles Roundtrip (Moderate).
Time to Complete Hike: 2 - 3 hours.
View Ladera Ranch Ridge Overlook in a larger map