Nature Trail / Pacifica (P.O.I.)

Trip Date: 8/7/2016

Location: Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Permit/Pass: $3 per vehicle entry Monday - Friday; $5 Saturday - Sunday

Trail maps: OCParks

Directions: From the toll road CA Highway 241 in North Tustin take the East Santiago Canyon Road exit and head northwest to a right turn on Jamboree Rd. After turning onto Jamboree prepare for an immediate left turn onto the resumption of East Santiago Canyon Rd. Go two miles to a right turn on North Windes Dr. Follow N. Windes to the entrance kiosk for Santiago Oaks RP. After passing through the kiosk follow the road to the Visitor Center parking area. Then walk up the sidewalk to the Visitor Center. The trail begins a few yards to the east of the VC.

Synopsis: Though very short, this trail has some steep sections that make it inappropriate for anyone not in shape. The Nature Trail itself is quite short, but when you tack on the upper Pacifica Trail loop you add a sturdy bit of elevation gain along with some nice views.

Trail sequence: Nature Trail / Pacifica Trail / Nature Trail

Type: Infinity loop

Distance: 0.7 miles

Elevation: Min. - 349', Max. - 730'

Profile:

Rating: Easy-Moderate (factors: steep sections, heat)

Notes: This trail begins a few yards east of the Visitor Center, and ends at some steps just behind it.

Track: Nature Trail / Pacifica - Santiago Oaks RP: Everytrail, GaiaGPS

Turn by Turn:

 -- Begin by walking past the Visitor Center toward the picnic area. On your right will be a signed trailhead for the Nature Trail. You start by heading to the east through some narrow brush, eventually turning back toward the west.

  -- At a short distance in the trail junction with a return to the Visitor Center on the right, and the option to add the Pacifica Trail on the left. Turn left (south) to head up the Pacifica Trail.

  -- The trail climbs immediately, and soon rather steeply, until it meets a viewing area at the top. From there it turns east before finally jogging back to the west as it drops to meet the earlier junction. This time continue straight on the Nature Trail.

  -- After a couple hundred yards you switchback down to some stairs which bring you to the back side of the Visitor Center. Turn right to drop down another set of stairs to either return along the walkway to your car or continue back to the trailhead.