Located in the heart of South Orange County, Whiting Ranch is a fantastic place to hike or mountain bike. It can be ridden on its own with various loop combinations, and you can also include “The Luge”, which is nearby. Whiting Ranch offers a great combination of spinning and climbing through well maintained fire road, as well as some great single-track through the shady canyon. The park is relatively small, so it is a quick and fast ride that will have you done in no time. The ride begins with a nice warm up through Borrego Trail until you hit Mustard Rd. That is where the climbing begins. Afterwards, descend and enjoy the semi-technical Cactus Hill trail and make your way into the canyon. Catch Serrano Cow and make your way out of the park.
Time: 45 min-1:15 hours
Total elevation climb: 892 ft
Total descent: 906
Calories burned: 550.
Average speed of ride: 8-10 mph
Take the 5 south and exit Bake/Lake Forest Rd. Exit either Bake or Lake Forest and make a left. When you get to Portola Pkwy make a left. On Market St, make a right and enter the park. You can also elect to park across the street if you wish. Parking cost is $3 at Whiting Regional.
Parking Fee- none
Parking Information – Guided tours are available and you need to sign up online at http://www.irvineranchlandreserve.com/
(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)
1.Begin on Borrego Trail and make your way through the canyon.
2. 1.3- Make a left on Mustard and climb for approximately 100 yards. The climb is steep but short. Head right into Cattle Pond loop. This is a nice little single-track that will bring you right back down to Mustard Rd.
3. 1.64- Make left on Mustard and begin the short climb up to Four Corners . It’s a gradual climb that gets steeper as you get to the top.
4. 2.38- Upon reaching 4 corners, make a right on Water Tank rd and continue climbing.
5. 2.61- At the switchback, head up Dreaded Hill. Continue to climb until you reach the Mark Reynolds memorial bench. Turn back around and at 4 corners make a right to go down. You will see the Cactus Hill trail marker just a few yards away on your left side. Enter Cactus Hill trail. It can be a bit bumpy and somewhat technical but definitely one of the highlights of this loop. Stay on the trail until you reach Santiago Ranch.
6. 3.98- Make right on Santiago Ranch
7. 4.15- Right on Sleepy Hollow- follow this singlet-rack until you reach Whiting Rd
8. 4.4- Left on Whiting Rd. Head down for several yards until the trail ends and make a quick left. A few feet away you will see Shack Line.
9. 4.6- Right on Shack Line
10. 5.8- Right on Serrano Rd. This will lead you back to Portola Pkwy and ride the street back to your car.