Summary: This is a rougher route to Red Rock Canyon than the Borrego Trail. You'll go up some steep sections and then down the steep Billy Goat Trail which is choked in chapparral and treacherous in spots where the knifeblade sandstone ridges have eroded.
The Billy Goat Trail itself is closed to bikers. Watch for loose rock on the ridge leading into the elfin forest. Be on watch for mountain lions, particularly in the elfin forest and areas of thick brush.
Like all Whiting Ranch hikes, it is best avoided during the summer months when temperatures can reach the low hundreds. There is little shade along this route except at the very bottom of Mustard Road. Wear a hat in all seasons.
Trailhead: Concourse Park Trailhead: From Interstate 5, take the El Toro Road exit in Lake Forest. Head North/Northeast up El Toro Road towards the mountains. At the last stoplight before El Toro Road splits at Cook's Corner, turn left on Ridgeline. Turn left at the top of the hill, which is Saddleback Ranch Road. Proceed one block to Concourse Park.
Trail Guides for Billy Goat Loop, Whiting Wilderness:
Afoot & Afield in Orange County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, (949) 589-4729
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 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Dvaie on 2/25/2012
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Reviewed by SinSan on 8/9/2011
Billy Goat trail is a .7 mile trail within Whiting Wilderness. You must do other trails to complete the loop. Billy Goat is steep, and a lot of fun, but I wouldn't recommend it to children. However, there are other trails in the park that are family friendly. Billy goat is for hikers only, thus you wont see any MTB on the trail. There wasn't much shade during the entire hike so wear a hat. The H20 station is a nice place to meet other hikers. Parkng was free.
Reviewed by CA on 4/21/2010
Great hike, not as challenging as I had anticipated but definitely a workout. The trails and hills are covered with flowers right now so its a great time to go, billy goat trail is a rare find and is a lot of fun.
Reviewed by SS on 4/5/2010
Decided to try it due to the other reviews and was pleased with the hike. Recommend going the extra mile to go to Red Rock Canyon for a different view of the pink canyon. Spring is a great time to check it out with all the wildflowers and the green vegetation. Billy goat is just one section so you'll have to take a few other trails to make it a loop.
Reviewed by eddyizm on 3/14/2010
very very nice, a good work out with large group, lots of people on most of the trail, have to watch out for bikers. the concourse park has no markers for the trail - you have to walk around to the right side and down to the trail head. a bit confusing for a first time visitor to the whiting ranch wilderness area. lots of interweaving trails make this a great spot to have a full day of hiking for those so inclined. the burnt trees were a stark and ominous contrast to the lush green vegetation! photos : http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddyizm/sets/72157623490247297/
Reviewed by Zach on 6/28/2009
Trail was fantastic, but some climbs were brutally steep! Thank god for the H2O halfway! The flowers and foliage are beautiful, too bad the fire destroyed many of the trees along the Billygoat trail.
Reviewed by DJS on 8/3/2008
Walked the loop and continued on to Redrock, which adds just over a mile. Once you have a map you can see there are many variations you can do on the fly. On parts of the trail you have the usual number of MTB flying past, they often thank you for jumping off the trail. Free parking, no dogs. Water about half way in at 4 corners.
Reviewed by halohiker on 8/2/2008
The park is open again! Grab a new map when you get there, as some trails have changed.
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.
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