Borrego Canyon to Red Rock Canyon is an out and back, flat trail with plenty of diverse landscape you won’t get anywhere else in Orange County.
Borrego Canyon trail flanks the main entrance to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Foothill Ranch. Whiting Ranch is a part of the OC Parks network, so the parking lot at the entrance is paid. Many hikers and bikers park at the Ralphs lots right beside it, but if you take advantage of these parks often, $3 is a worthy contribution.
The canyon walls of Borrego are a network of green with trees growing alongside and even out of the rock. The path is wide and flat, which makes it easy to navigate around a large number of hikers. Whiting Ranch is a popular destination for families and groups since it has a lot of beginning level trails. Borrego Canyon continues for 1.5 miles before you connecting to Red Rock Canyon.
Once you come upon Red Rock Canyon, your journey becomes…well…rocky. If this hike was 5+ miles I would have rated it moderate because of this trail. However, much of the difficult terrain on Red Rock Canyon when we hiked was due to the rain; as the collections of rocks were coupled with deep grooves in the dirt. I promise that he steady steps you have to take for 3/4 of a mile will pay off once you reach your destination.
The red rock formations in this part of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park are quite rare for Orange County. Witnessing it first hand made me yearn for a road trip to nearby states like Arizona and Utah. Not that I need an excuse to take off into the Southwestern sunset…
Both trails of this hike are equally stunning in my opinion: the green vegetation with soft light on Borrego Canyon and desolate, rose-colored landscape on Red Rock Canyon. While I included in the trail information that the best spot for pictures is when you actually reach Red Rock Canyon, the entire hike is very picturesque.
I am a big fan of hikes that offer a variety of wild scenery. Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park has plenty more where that came from, with over 17 miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and even horse-back riding! It is a great park to go on an outdoor adventure in Orange County with family, friends or just your favorite person. No matter who you get outside with, if you stay in the area for lunch afterward, check out Baja Fish Tacos. There are a few locations in the area and they serve up some of my favorite fish tacos in South County.
Did you hike Borrego and Red Rock Canyon in Whiting Ranch? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts!
In Love, Peace, and Hiking ~ xo