Day 2 of the volleyball tournament in Southern California found me with a few
hours of free time in the morning between dropping the wife off at the site
and getting back for my daughter's first match. Having checked the various
online sources for summits to visit in the Orange County area, I found that
Laura Newman had beaten me to most of these, not surprising since it was closer
to her home turf. This included East Coyote Hills, though interestingly not
West Coyote Hills. Had she simply missed an opportunity or was there something
afoot in the Fullerton Hills that needed closer investigation? Later in the
afternoon I headed out for some other easy summits, these to the east in the
foothills of the Santa Ana Mtns - all of which Laura has already visited.
East Coyote Hills
This summit proved to be quite easy, with the summit one of the featured
in the small .
though this upscale neighborhood with meticulously manicured grounds, signs
describing the flora, views, history and dangers of underestimating a Trump
administration. Ok, maybe not that last part. The park was popular even at
the early hour just after 7a, with locals walking their dogs and each other.
Haze today would mar views, but the weather was delightful for a short stroll
of less than a quarter mile to the summit. Plenty of street parking where
southwest of the summit, too.
West Coyote Hills
It took about 15min to drive from one site to the next, eventually parking on
Chantilly Lane on the southeast side of the summit. This would prove a more
formidable challenge and it took only a few minutes to size up why. The land
around the summit is (or was) owned by and the site of oil
fields back in the day. There are some and
to be found, but all the pumps and most of the equipment
seems to have been removed. Still, there is an old ,
still maintained, with three strands of barbed-wire
at the top mounted at an angle - this was no easy fence to get over. The
skirts the southern boundary of the fence which had
than a hundred folks along it during the five minutes I spent walking it, as
popular a trail as I've ever seen which is odd since it isn't particularly
scenic at all. I was looking for ways to breach the perimeter, first looking
at a couple of smallish trees that seem to have compromised the fence some, but
not finding them suitable with so many folks about. I then came across a
small section where the ground had eroded at the bottom just enough to squeeze
a body through. Once this was accomplished, the rest was a piece of cake. I
once used to service the oil fields, now looking like
a post-apocalyptic scene, slowly being covered in sand, dust and gravel
washing off the slopes with grass and brush doing their best to return the
site to its more natural condition. There are several
summit but the highpoint seems to be a small patch of old pavement just NE of
the largest towers. After
the way I'd come, I headed back to the
volleyball site. Later in the afternoon I would have time for more exploration
and headed out to burn the last 4hrs of daylight.
The lamest "summit" on the day. At one time this might have been an interesting
point at the western edge of a ridgeline, but it is heavily suburbanized now
and the point was bulldozed years ago to build a cul-de-sac surrounded by
homes. Drive to the end of East Rocky Point Rd. Yay.
The topo map calls these the Peralta Hills but the local name seems to be the
. The tops of these modest hills are part of an OSP
managed by Orange County. My starting point on is
as you can get to the summit, but up from the northeast side
is quite and sees very little traffic. I was wading through
grass and thistle waist high before reaching which
has a wide, hardpack dirt trail running along . The highpoint
is found among just off the main trail/road with good views.
I tried to find a better way down, but ran into some that
included some unexpected poison oak, and quite a bit, too, the only place I
found it all day.
Robbers Peak/Anaheim Hills Overlook/Peak 1,257ft
All three of these are found within the Santiago Oaks Regional Park. This is a
pretty interesting park, quite beautiful decked in springtime green with ample
wildflowers. The park has many miles of trails, most of which are open to
mountain bikes, popular in many of Orange County's parks. There is
a use fee to access the park down low at Windes Dr, but I used shorter approach
trailheads in the local neighborhoods without fees. Only Robbers Peak qualifies
as a summit on LoJ, the other two being semi-random points someone submitted on
PB. Google Maps shows the Santa Ana Mountains Trailhead northwest of Robbers
Peak on Serrano Ave, adjacent to . I parked across
the street but found it odd one has to walk through of the
school property to access the trail/road. I felt better that it was a Saturday.
is the best looking of the day with a sharp
found 1/3mi from the TH. There is an
just below the summit that says Private
Property, but this seems to be ignored as a matter of course by everyone.
Anaheim Hills Overlook is found a quarter mile at a rounded,
. is 1.5mi NE of Robbers Peak
and can be connected by hike or bike along trails and through neighborhoods.
I chose to drive to a shorter
at the end of Ave De Santiago which made it another . More
interesting than Anaheim Hills Overlook, it has a nice view looking down on
to the west.
A short, rocky and in El Modena Open Space along N. Cannon
St. This one appears on PB but not LoJ. I at the NE corner of
the park at E. Patria Ct. and N. Cannon St, utilizing
that starts from there. The summit has as advertised, but
it has been abused over the years and is mostly unreadable. The
whole outing took but 20min.
Another short, steep hike but this one not sanctioned by any of the park
agencies. The peak is crowned by a large water tank, the highpoint found at
of the bulldozed summit on the north side. The summit is
solidly encased by . I parked at of E. Canyon
Ridge where a can be used to climb halfway to the
summit. A faint can be picked up from the end of one of the
side branches to take you to the top without need to bushwhack. Seven minutes
roundtrip on this one.
Another PB summit that doesn't qualify for LoJ. This one is located within
Irvine Regional Park. There is a fee to utilize the park but in talking to the
attendant I found the park closes at 6p, leaving me only about 20min. Instead,
I drove back out and parked in the Albertson's lot at the corner of Chapman and
Jamboree. From there I rode my bike the short distance to the bike-friendly
park. The Horseshoe Loop and Puma Ridge Trails can be used to make a loop going
over the highpoint. I got to just after sunset with the
over the Santa Ana Mtns - a very nice way to end the day. And now to
get back to the van before it gets too dark...