Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wilderness Glen (Mission Viejo)

The Wilderness Glen in Mission Viejo offers fun urban hiking trails in Mission Viejo. On Thursday July 16, Ashley and I decided to hike part of the Wilderness Glen Park in Mission Viejo. The Wilderness Glen is more of an urban hiking trail, but it is still a fun hike for those that cannot get away to a more secluded wilderness trail. Overall, this hike was very nice and we would both recommend it to others, however if you are looking for a true wilderness feel to your hike this one is probably not for you due to the proximity of homes along the trail. While hiking here you are likely to see other hikers and Mission Viejo residents out enjoying this hiking trail. For more pictures, make sure to check out or Facebook Page.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to the hiking trail at the Mission Viejo Wilderness Glen, there are several options, the easiest is to park at Del Lago Elementary School in Mission Viejo. Del Lago Elementary School's address is 27181 Entidad Mission Viejo, CA 92691-1099. Coming from the 5 freeway exit on Alicia Parkway and head toward the Santa Ana Mountains (Mission Viejo). Proceed a couple miles and make a left onto Trabuco Rd, proceeded by a right onto Los Alisos (The next Light). Follow Los Alisos for a couple miles and make a left onto Entidad, the school is there on the right side. The trailhead begins there across on the other side of Entidad.

Description of Hike: The total length of the Wilderness Glen hiking trail in Mission Viejo is about 2 miles long, out and back, so 4 miles roundtrip if you hike the whole trail. Parts of the trail are paved and other parts are not, but the trail is in good shape and is relatively flat.  At each of the street crossings, there are paths that go under the bridges, don't take those paths as they do not connect to the main Wilderness Glen trail. Once you get close to Trabuco road, sections of the trail, get difficult to follow and you will have to cross a concrete drainage basin. The overall elevation gain for the whole Wilderness Glen hiking trail is about 300 ft. This is an easy hike. There is a little stream that flows through the valley along the entire length of trail. Overall the Wilderness Glen comprises over 100 acres of open space. It is also surrounded by several other large sections of open space and wilderness preserves that give this Mission Viejo hike a more wilderness feel in an urban setting. However, if you are looking to get away from an urban setting this hike is not for you. There is no charge for parking. Free is a great price. The Mission Viejo Wilderness Glen is located near our Mission Viejo Open Space hike.

Further Thoughts: This was a nice Orange County hike for Ashley and I. It was perfect because it is close to home and we didn't have the time to get away to a true wilderness setting. For those that are looking for a true wilderness feel this is not the best hike to do because it is close to homes and a road. But for those looking for a good hike close to home that has a wilderness feel to it, this is a good hike. Many times driving by at night I have seen coyotes frequent this area.

While on this hike we saw several bird nests and currently there is a nesting pair of hawks near the trailhead by Del Lago elementary school. It was amazing to us how much noise the nesting park of hawks made. We also saw several rabbits and ground squirrels on the hike. This is a popular trail and you will likely see people out and about on the trail when you go. Overall it is a nice urban hiking trail in Mission Viejo and is fun to do if you are not looking for a true wilderness setting. There are also other trails available across the street in the open space on the hill by Vista Del Lago as well.

When beginning on the trail from the school across the street, make sure to say on the side closest to the slope (right side of the trail), do not take a left and take the trail to the street because it ends at the street and you will have to backtrack to the main trail like Ashley and I did. This is another nice urban hike that does offer hikers some pretty nice views of an urban wilderness in the City of Mission Viejo.

Rating: Elevation Gain: 300 ft. (Easy), Distance: 4 Miles Roundtrip (Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 1.5 - 2.5 hours.


July 16, 2009 (This Post)


Wilderness Glen (This Post)

View Wilderness Glenn in a larger map

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Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.