Limestone Canyon Short Loop (dayhike)

Trip Date: 2/1/2014

Location: Limestone Canyon (Irvine Ranch Open Space Preserve) - Augustine Staging Area

Permit/Pass: No fees, but access is limited to scheduled programs and days. Plan ahead by determining which days the park is open, then make your reservations here.

Trails: OC Parks Map 

Directions: From the 241 Tollroad in Orange County take the E. Santiago Canyon Rd. exit heading east toward the town of Silverado. After driving a little over three miles you'll see a turn lane on the right leading to the Augustine Staging Area of Limestone Canyon. Turn right into the parking area.

Trail sequence: Hick's Haul Rd. / Limestone Canyon trail / Sand Trap / East Loma Ridge / Hick's Haul Rd.

Type: Loop

Distance: 5.5 miles

Elevation: Min. - 856', Max. - 1613'


Rating: Moderate (factors: heat)

Synopsis: This hike is a good introduction to Limestone Canyon, traveling through open meadows and canyons and across ridges. There are nice views to the east early on that eventually open up to the west and north as you climb. The last section, along Hick's Haul Rd. is paved, but still pleasant.


Limestone Canyon Short Loop - Irvine Ranch Open Space

Turn by Turn:

  -- After parking and registering leave the parking lot and head back down Hick's Haul Rd. toward the entrance. A few short yards brings you to the trailhead for Limestone Canyon trail. Turn right (southeast) onto Limestone Canyon.

  -- About a mile and a quarter down Limestone Canyon you come to a junction with Sand Trap trail on the right. Turn right (west) onto Sand Trap.

  -- Sand Trap run generally southwest for about a mile and a half. It meanders a bit, at one point heading east before circling back, and climbs almost all the way before meeting East Loma Ridge trail on the right. Turn right (west) onto East Loma.

  -- This section of East Loma is just over a mile and heads generally north before turning west and dropping to meet Hick's Haul Rd. Turn right (north) on Hick's Haul Rd. and walk the gentle grade the mile and a quarter back to the Augustine Staging Area.