Bommer Canyon (dayhike)

SA Report: Old haunts - new trails

Trip Date: 11/16/2013

Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Irvine Open Space Preserve. The Preserve's trails are usually opened to the public on the third Saturday of each month (in this guide description of these trails will be shaded green).

Permit/Pass: Day use (weekday) - $3, (weekend) - $5, Annual Pass ($55 or $80)

Trails: New LCWP map, Old LCWP map, IOSP trail map

Directions: From Interstate 405 take CA Hwy 133 (aka Laguna Canyon Road) south 3.2 miles to the turnoff on the right for the park's Nix Nature Center. Parking sometimes fills up on the weekends so get there early. If you do not have an Orange County parks pass, be sure to pay at the machine.

Trail sequence: Mary's Trail / Little Sycamore / Serrano Ridge / Hogback Ridge / Ridge Route / East Fork / Hogback Ridge / Serrano Ridge / Little Sycamore

Type: Lasso Loop

Distance: 10 miles

Elevation: Min. - 396', Max. - 1013'



Rating: Moderate-Difficult (factors: length, steep sections, heat)

Synopsis: This hike begins in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, but takes advantage of a once-a-month tradition of the city of Irvine's Open Space Preserve to make its normally-closed trails available to all. The trip takes you to Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp, where you'll find facilities and picnic tables under peaceful sycamores. The return loop up East Fork trail includes some steep grades.


Bommer Canyon - Laguna Coast WP

Turn by Turn:

  -- After parking (and paying if required) walk to the visitor's center (nice restrooms here) and pick up Mary's Trail for a brief stroll over to Little Sycamore trail. Turn left onto Little Sycamore.

  -- Follow Little Sycamore as it heads north about a mile, at the end of which you'll rise to meet Serrano Ridge trail. Turn left.

  -- Serrano circles to the west and then south as it works its way over a series of hills for about a mile and a half before coming to a four-way junction with Camarillo Canyon Trail on the left and Shady Oaks (private) on the right. Continue straight on Serrano Ridge.

  -- After Serrano ascends then turns to the north you come to a junction with gated Hogback Ridge trail on the right. This is where the hike begins traversing Irvine's Open Space Preserve trails.

  -- Follow Hogback Ridge for about a half mile until it comes to a junction with Ridge Route heading off to the north and East Fork turning southwest. These trails form a loop into and back up Bommer Canyon. Take Ridge Route to replicate this hike.

  -- Ridge Route winds and eventually descends down to the trailhead and parking lot on Bommer Canyon Rd. Turn left and walk up the road to the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp area where you'll find bathrooms and picnic tables. This is a great place to take a break.

  -- To begin the return trip, walk up the gravel road to the south end and pick up the short trail spur which leads to a fork. The right turn heads up West Fork trail. Turn left onto East Fork.

  -- East Fork ascends, gradually at first then steeply, for about 1.3 miles before it rejoins Hogback Ridge trail. Turn right (southeast) onto Hogback and walk the half mile back to the junction with Serrano Ridge trail. Turn left (southeast) onto Serrano Ridge.

  -- Serrano heads east and then north as it descends a bit to a saddle with a trail crossing. Here you meet Camarillo Canyon trail again. Continue straight on Serrano Ridge.

  -- Hike another mile and a half or so along the ridge before coming to a junction with Little Sycamore Canyon on the right. Turn right (south) on Little Sycamore.

  -- Follow Little Sycamore Canyon trail for just under a mile before reaching the parking lot next to the Nix Nature Center. 


Photo Gallery: Flickr