Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park (Glenn Ranch Road Trailhead)

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park has become a new local favorite for both Ashley and I. We had a great hike in the park today. We started in a different section of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park than our last hike here, in which we started at Borrego Canyon. Today we started off of the Glenn Ranch Road Trailhead and started our Hike on the Coyote Brush Trail which rewards you with amazing views of the surrounding area.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to the Glenn Ranch Road Trailhead at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, take the Lake Forrest exit off of I-5, and head toward the Santa Ana Mountains. In about 5 miles you will make a Right onto Portola Parkway, go about a half mile and make a left onto Glenn Ranch Road. The trailhead is on your left hand side in about half a mile. Remember to bring 3 dollars for parking. There is plenty of parking at the Glenn Ranch Road trailhead. Additionally, there are usually trail maps available at the Glenn Ranch Road trailhead.

Description of Hike: The trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park are usually. You will likely see other people out on the trails any day of the week as Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is a very popular place. There are many options for hikes as far as distance and altitude change in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. We took the Coyote Brush Rd, Made a right onto Line Shack Rd, which merged with the Serrano Cow Trail, made a left on Whiting Rd and finally a left onto Water Tank Road. We stopped and ate lunch at the intersection of water tank road and dreaded hill road which has a great view point, after which we returned to the car. The total distance for the hike we did was about 5 miles and the elevation change was about 500 ft. We have provided a Google Map below and an additional map of the hiking trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park can be found Here. Additionally, the brochure for Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park can be found Here.

Further Thoughts: It was perfect weather for a hike when we visited Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, with the temperature in the low 70's. It had drizzled a little bit the day before which made the temperatures cool. This was great for us as we hiked as it brought a refreshing feel to the hike. Considering that I started law school and getting away for hikes will be more difficult, we will be going to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park more often since it is a local getaway into the foothills of our local mountains. Portions of this hike offered great sweeping views of Orange County as well as the Santa Ana Mountains.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is place where wildlife abounds, so be ready with your camera. We saw our first major wildlife in over a year while on this hike. We came down into a canyon and there was a herd of deer numbering between 8 - 10 deer. It was quite exciting as Ashley and I watched the interactions of the herd. We observed a large buck with big antlers as well as a smaller buck with antlers. The rest of the deer were does. The big male even took time to come and stare us down, which was interesting.

We hiked for about 5 miles while in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and ate lunch along water tank road trail. The views were great and being able to see local Orange County wildlife was spectacular. It is good to see that the area is recovering from last year's devastating Santiago fire. You can still see lots of evidence of this fire when visiting the park. There are frequent mountain lion sightings in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, which is not surprising considering the deer we saw. Both Ashley and I would like to see a mountain lion sometime but at some considerable distance. For a video of a Mountain Lion in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park sighting on the Serrano Cow Trail in 2012 click Here. This is a must do hike in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park for any nature lover or hiker that wants to get away for a couple of hours or get away for a full day hike in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains.

Rating: Elevation Gain: 500 ft. (Easy), Distance: 5 Miles Roundtrip (Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 2 - 3 hours.


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