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Peters Canyon Regional Park

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Bird watching, chaparral, stream-side nature trail, man-made lake
Near:Orange, CA
Distance:5.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:518 ft
Hike Time:2.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

Summary: Peters Canyon is a favorite of the local jogging and health walking set. The centerpiece of the park is a reservoir constructed by the Irvine Company in 1931. Bird watchers enjoy sightings of more than one hundred different species -- mostly waterfowl and riparian species such as tri-colored blackbirds.

The longest route through the park takes you around the lake and along the barren East Ridge with vistas of nearby bougeosis housing tracts. An invasive eucalyptus forest shades the south end of the ridge route and much of the Peters Canyon Trail which you take on your return to the lakeside pathway. A short side loop takes you through marshy creekside habitat.

For wilderness feel, there are better areas in Orange County, but for exercise, bird watching, and a taste of the grasslands that used to cover this area, Peters Canyon suffices.

Trailhead: From Interstate Five, take the Jamboree Road exit. Head northeast on Jamboree for approximately five miles to Canyon View Avenue. Turn left. The park entrance is about a quarter mile down the road on your left.

From California 91. Take the 241 tollway south to Santiago Canyon Road. Turn right onto Santiago Road/Chapman. At Jamboree, make a left. Turn right on Canyon View Avenue. The park entrance is about a quarter mile down the road on your left. (Lat:33.78382 Lon:-117.76202)

Trail Guides for Peters Canyon Regional Park:
Best Easy Day Hikes Orange County
by Randy Vogel (Falcon Publishing Company)

Afoot & Afield in Orange County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Peters Canyon Regional Park, 714-973-6611
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joel Sax, who has posted  51 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 5   Submit your own review
Reviewed by on 7/29/2015
A nice hike in the middle of OC suburbia. Good for a quick hiking fix. Check out my blog for the Peters Canyon hike directions.

Reviewed by mike on 8/27/2013
This is a nice but sometimes crowded hike. Must go early for parking. Caution!!! If you bring your dog, note that this particular trail has one of the very highest concentrations of mosquitos carrying the deadly heartworm disease. I will not bring my dog back for this reason.

Reviewed by sandra on 3/4/2012
love it so much fun and a great work out

Reviewed by michelle on 6/20/2011
I love this hike. On Sundays my husband and i take our two Chihuahua mixes on a five mile hike. They seem to like it and enjoy being out of the neighborhood. I like that they allow dogs because some parks do not. On Saturday mornings I like to run the hills. It's a great workout and there's more to see than just the streets around town. If you go too late it gets pretty hot. I always try to get there by 7 or 7:30, especially if I have my pups.

Reviewed by Shawn on 9/6/2010
Great hike today, very hot, with winds occasionally. We really enjoyed the full loop. Lots of families with little ones in tow. Lots of dogs (please pick up after your dog). I picked up refuse others left on the trails, people need to be more appreciative. The parking machine wouldn't take cash, so had to use our ATM, $3 is a bargain for such a great trail to be on. There was a mix of walkers, runners and bikes, a great place to train.

Reviewed by steve on 7/10/2010
hiked here today to get some training in. did a couple loops for about 11 miles. lots of people. bikers, joggers and family outings. great day! still way too many dog owners not picking up after their pets. can't figure it out. do they not know better or just too lazy?

Reviewed by JLH on 5/7/2010
BreaBonnie-FYI if you are tight on cash and dont want to pay for parking, you can park across the street in the residental.:) And YES 930 is a little late to start, I learned that lesson the hard way too! However yesterday I went about 5:00 PM and it was beautiful. Watch out for Rattlers.

Reviewed by BreaBonnie on 5/6/2010
Hiked this past Wednesday. Started at 9:45AM which was too late. Already very hot just after starting. Recommend doing this early morning- no later than 8:30AM. Lots of lovely yellow flowers and green hills in my pictures. Nothing like the dead look of the photos taken back during our dry season. Now is the time to GO! Bring cash for $3 parking machine and remember only a "port-a-potty" style toilet at the parking lot. Don't forget to bring a water bottle if you walk the hills or the whole thing! You can pick up a trail guide at the office which really helped us in planning how long to hike and when and where to turn around.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Orange County Hiking, Orange County Trails, Orange County Hikes

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