Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Years Snow Hike In The Santa Ana Mountains

On new years day, Ashley and I had the chance to do some hiking in the fresh snow that fell in the Santa Ana Mountains. It was a fantastic way to start the new year off right, with a little outdoor adventure. Needless to say we were not alone in enjoying the snow, as many residents from both Orange County and Riverside County were out enjoying the significant snowfall in the Santa Ana Mountains. Ashley and I have seen snow in the Santa Ana Mountains many times (it falls on the higher peaks several times every year), but nothing in recent memory compares to the amount of snow that fell with this last cold winter storm. The snow level was likely below 1,000 feet in places in the Santa Ana Mountains. Even foothill cities like Rancho Santa Margarita got a dusting of snow with this last storm. On our drive up from Orange County, on the Ortega Highway, we started seeing snow along the side of the road well below the Ortega Oaks Candy Store. There was probably at least 6 inches of snow that fell at the 3,000 foot level and greater amounts at the higher elevations.

We hiked a portion of the El Cariso Nature Trail in the Santa Ana Mountains. This hike is right near the community of El Cariso. For our detailed trail write-up on the El Cariso Nature Hiking Trail, click Here. The El Cariso Nature Hiking Trail is a fun short hiking trail in the Santa Ana Mountains that is 1.2 miles roundtrip with minimal elevation gain. Ashley and I wore our cold weather gear and enjoyed several hours of fun in the snow. Here are some pictures of the significant snowfall that occurred with this recent storm. My guess is the snow will be around, hopefully, for several more days, given the cold temperatures at night. If you have not had the chance to get out and explore this area in the snow, now is a great opportunity to do so! Here are some, of the many pictures, from our adventure hiking in the snow to hopefully inspire you to get out and do some hiking in 2015!

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