Borrego Canyon / Raptor Rd. (dayhike)

Trip date: 12/29/2015

Location: Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park 

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

Trails: Park map 

Directions: From CA Hwy 241 (Foothill Transportation Corridor Toll Road) in Foothill Ranch take the Alton Pkwy exit east to the intersection with Portola Pkwy. Turn right onto Portola Pkwy and move into the left-most lane in preparation for turning left on Market Pl. After making the turn onto Market, take the immediate left into the parking lot, at the north end of which you'll find the Borrego trailhead. If you don't have a county pass, remember to pay at the machine.

Synopsis: This hike never quite leaves behind the signs of civilization, but it's still a pretty hike to some nice views and through some enjoyable terrain in Orange County. A side trip to the Red Rock area in this park adds even more geological interest (and about a mile) to the hike.

Trail sequence: Borrego Canyon / Mustard Road / Whiting Rd. / Edison Rd. / Line Shack Rd. / Serrano Rd. / Live Oak Trail / Raptor Rd.

Type: Point to point

Distance: 5 miles

Elevation: Min 767’, Max - 1462’


Rating: Moderate

Notes: This is a pretty convenient shuttle hike in that the staging areas are not very far apart. One could actually not bother with a shuttle or pick-up car and just walk the couple of miles on pavement back to the beginning trailhead.

Track: Borrego Canyon / Raptor Rd. - Whiting Ranch WP

Turn by turn:

  -- From the trailhead sign-board pick up Borrego trail, dropping down into the canyon bottom and then gently heading up-canyon. 

  -- After about a mile you come to a junction with Mustard trail. Turn right (east) and follow Mustard Rd. as it circles to the east, climbs, and eventually brings you to the Four Corners area. There is a signboard and bench here. Across from the signboard is a fork with Whiting Rd. which heads down on the left, and Water Tank Rd. heading up on the right. Take Whiting Rd.

  -- Follow Whiting Rd. for a little over three quarters of a mile before it dead-ends at Edison Rd. Turn left (south) on Edison and walk a few yards before turning right (southwest) on Line Shack Rd.

  -- Stay left (south) on Line Shack as it splits with the right fork heading off on Serrano Cow trail.

  -- Line Shack ascends briefly, but steeply, then heads in a generally southwest direction before turning to the south and meeting Coyote Brush Rd. leading off to the left (southeast). This trail can take you to your destination. It was closed at the time of our hike so we continued on Line Shack Rd.

  -- After another couple of tenths of a mile Line Shack turns abruptly to the northwest at what appears to be a junction with another trail - and in sight of the parking area. This is a maintenance trail and doesn't connect with the parking lot. Continue on Line Shack Rd. as it drops to meet Serrano Rd.

  -- Turn left (south) on Serrano Rd. and after just a few yards take the left trail at another fork in the road onto Live Oak Trail.

  -- Live Oak heads south through the riparian cover for a half-mile before meeting Raptor Rd. Turn left (east) onto Raptor Rd. and follow it as it climbs to your end point at the Glenn Ranch staging area parking lot.