5-7-20 BM P300
Irvine Mesa
Peak 2,301ft P300
Peak 1,470ft P300

Sun, Mar 3, 2019
Irvine Mesa
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2

It was the last day of a 17-day roadtrip, starting in the Las Vegas area and ending up in Orange County. My wife was in Anaheim to ref a volleyball tournament, so I met up with her for the weekend. The previous day had been a very wet Saturday that kept me indoors all day, save for an hour I spent outside to rotate the jeep's tires. Today the rain had stopped but it was heavily overcast, the trails muddy and the brush wet. Still, I got out for a few hikes that gave me something to do while the wife works. Rough life, I know.

5-7-20 BM

A front range summit in the Santa Ana Mtns, the peak is located northeast and above the community of Modjeska at the junction of Santiago Creek and Harding Canyon. I parked just before the bridge over Santiago Creek which was flowing fast and brown from the previous day's storm. I followed a Michael Sullivan gpx track from PB - he seems to be my go-to source for SoCal tracks. It starts up an old road (Mark Rd on Google Maps) between a couple of homes. There is a No Trespassing sign that seems to be regularly ignored, judging from the compact tread that has developed on the use trail. The old road goes past a few old, open gates that suggest a home was planned up in this side canyon at some time in the distant past. The route climbs about 900ft in 1.5mi, growing steeper in the second half where the route follows an old firebreak, now fairly rutted. The summit has an OC benchmarkl (thus the odd name) and a decent view save for the day's overcast.

Irvine Mesa

This is a small spit of land at the confluence of the Santiago and Silverado Creek drainages. The land appears to be owned by the OC Parks dept, but is signed as Closed and No Trespassing. There is a dirt road going over this exceedingly minor summit that can be accessed from two points along Santiago Canyon Rd. This seemed a little too conspicuous to me, so I used a route up the northeast side, a steep cross-country jaunt that looks like it would be quite brushy but works well enough. The biggest problem was the water-ladden brush that had me fairly soaked before I was done. Though steep, the distance is less than a tenth of a mile and took all of six minutes for the ascent. I took a few photos and beat a retreat back down to the road. Can't really recommend this one.

Peak 2,301ft

Located above the town of Silverado at the confluence of Silverado and Ladd Canyons, the 0.8mi hike climbs 1,100ft. I used another Sullivan gpx track that starts on the north side of Silverado Canyon Rd, across from the Silverado Canyon Market and west of the post office. There is a sign that says No Trespassing, but this appears to be for the adjacent empty lot. A use trail goes northwest to meet an old firebreak that then ascends northeast to the summit. About half way up the ridge one finds a USFS sign indicating the forest boundary. Who owns the lower part of the ridge is a small mystery, but they don't seem to mind the traffic on the ridge. I found a rusty metal box at the summit with a new register and lots of geocache-like trash as well. One can continue up the ridge for several miles until you reach the crest of the range near Bedford Peak. There is also a PB-only point at 3,100ft, but I had no interest in visiting that low prominence point, so I turned back and returned the way I came.

Peak 1,470ft

This summit is located in the Chino Hills. The starting point at the end of Lilac Lane above Olinda Village is a TH for Chino Hills State Park, but not part of the main park and trail network. An old road that used to be paved, goes up at a reasonable gradient, climbing about 500ft in 1.5mi. The highpoint is just east of an old tower festooned with telecom equipment and surrounded by a fence and razor wire. I went around the fence to take in what views the weather would allow before heading back down the same way. I finished up by 1:15p and headed back to Anaheim where the wife was working. My job would be to ferry her back to San Jose while she slept, a most workable arrangement...

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