Casper’s wilderness park sits on over 8000 acres of beautiful terrain within the Santa Ana mountains. The park can be accessed from the main entrance off Ortega highway or from Dove Ave in Coto De casa. You can get right into bell canyon and make your way up the east ridge for a quicker ride and loop, or you can do longer, more grueling loop starting in Coto. The first few miles are generally down hill with plenty of short, steep climbs. Head down on star rise trail until you reach bell canyon. There is a tough steep climb going up towards east ridge but the ride down is worth it. Cruise along the campground for about a mile and get back on dirt. The second half of this loop is ascending about 7.5 miles all the way back to your car. Its a long jaunt so bring drink, food and proper gear (tools).
Distance: 21.81 mi
Avg Speed: 6.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,448 ft
Calories: 1,678 C
Avg Temperature: 92.0 °F
From 5 freeway exit Alicia parkway and head east for a little over 5 miles. Right on Santa Margarita parkway for 2 1/2 miles and right on Plano trabuco road. Make a left on Dove Canyon drive immediately park on the street on your right. Head towards the corner of dove canyon drive and enter. You will climb a paved road and enter trail on your right.
Enter Bell View trail. The first few miles consist of a gradual descent but it comes with plenty of short steep climbs.
5.06. Enter west ridge trail and continue.
6.5. Left on star rise trail. There is no other way to go so its difficult to miss.
7.5. Trail ends at t junction which is Oso trail. There is a bench in the area if you need to take a breather before the next phase of the loop begins. Make a left on Oso.
8.2. Right on Oso trail.
9.0. Right on Cougar pass.
9.2. Left on East ridge trail. You will encounter some steep climbing here. Tough it out and soon you will be descending the ridge.
12. Trail ends at campground. Head right on the pavement for a little under a mile.
12.7. Back on Bell canyon and ride back to Star rise.
14. Left on star rise and begin climbing back up to west ridge trail.
15. Take west ridge all the way back to your vehicle. Enjoy the climb back!