Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park encompasses approximately 2,500 acres of riparian and oak woodland canyons, rolling grassland hills and steep slopes of coastal sage scrub and chaparral. The park is highlighted by scenic rock formations, including the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. There are three intermittent streams: Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek meandering through the park, each hosting an abundance of wildlife. Remnants of the former cattle ranching days can be seen throughout the park.
Though 90% of the park burned in the Santiago Fire of 2007, the land is still in the recovery process. Please respect that process by staying on marked trails and following park rules.
Whiting Ranch is open 7 a.m. to sunset, year round, except after rain. Call the park office for current trail closures at (949) 923-2245.
The park contains 23 trails totaling approximately 17 miles of graded roads and single-track trails, providing excellent opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The Red Rock Canyon and Billy Goat trails are reserved for hikers only. The park also provides connectivity to other trails belonging to the OC Parks Regional Trails system, including the Edison Riding and Hiking Trail, Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail, Aliso Creek Bikeway, and Aliso-Serrano Riding and Hiking Trail.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and closed areas of O’Neill Regional Park reopened Tuesday following closures Friday, Sept. 23 due to multiple mountain lion sightings in the area.
OC Parks rangers and game wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife continued their investigations throughout the weekend and found no further evidence of mountain lion activity in either park. State wildlife officials recommended Tuesday that the parks resume regular operations at that time.
Both parks reopened, but visitors are advised to remain alert to potential hazards in these parks and whenever visiting wilderness areas.
Between June 18 to June 24 and July 5 to July 12, the Nature Communities Coalition (NCC), in collaboration with OC Parks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy will conduct an aerial weed survey during daylight hours using a small, low-flying helicopter to document and map the distribution of over 30 weed species located within selected inland parks and open space areas.
Whiting Ranch, Irvine, Santiago Oaks, Irvine Ranch Open Space and Peters Canyon will be included in the survey.
The resulting information will provide details about the abundance and distribution of invasive weeds and help land managers evaluate the effectiveness of current weed monitoring practices, identify emerging weed problems, and strategically plan future weed management actions.
The clocks fall back early Nov. 6, marking the end of daylight saving time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule. Most regional parks close at 6 p.m. for the fall and winter, and wilderness parks close at sunset.
The OC Parks mobile application is now available to download. The new app makes it easy to explore all that the County regional and wilderness parks have to offer.
Using the OC Parks app for iOS or Android, you can easily get outside and find a park near you with the most detailed, accurate maps of all regional, wilderness, beach and historic parks and regional trails operated by the County of Orange. The app also offers detailed park descriptions and photos.
The mobile app lets users easily locate the closest playgrounds, parking and restrooms in each park. Search recent OC Parks news, events and alerts regarding park access, weather, trail conditions and more.
Starting in August, hikers will be collecting imagery of Orange County trails using the Google Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top. The Trekker automatically gathers images as it goes. Later the imagery will be stitched together to create the 360-degree panoramas you see today in Google Maps.
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