Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Trails are now open

All trails at O’Neill Regional Park and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park have reopened following a mountain lion investigation. More Information



Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park 
Borrego Parking Lot
26701 Portola Parkway, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 

Glenn Ranch Road Parking Lot
27901 Glenn Ranch Rd., Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
(May not appear correctly on Google or other mapping applications)

(949) 923-2245
WhitingRanch@ocparks.com

Park Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset
Office Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Trails may be closed for up to three days following rain.

Parking Fee: $3 daily. Machine accepts $1 bills and quarters or Visa/Master Card and OC Parks Annual Pass.

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.

Activities

Mountain bikers ride on a trail.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.

News

September 27, 2016 
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and O’Neill Regional Park Reopen Following Mountain Lion Investigation

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.


September 21, 2016 
Recent Mountain Lion Sightings Reported

Rangers at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park received three reports of mountain lion sightings at the park on Monday, Sept. 19. Rangers and game wardens investigated all the sightings. Rangers have placed warning signs at the park and continue to patrol the area.

Visitors to all wilderness areas should always remain alert to potential hazards and report any sightings to the park office at (949) 923-2245.

Please see our mountain lion flier for information about what to do if you encounter one.


June 9, 2016 
Helicopter Conducting Aerial Weed Survey

News ImageBetween 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.


September 23, 2016 
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and Portions of O’Neill Regional Park Closed for Mountain Lion Investigation

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and day use areas in the western end of O’Neill Regional Park were closed Friday for a mountain lion investigation and will remain closed until further notice.

Park visitors reported multiple mountain lion sightings at O'Neill Regional Park Thursday evening and OC Parks rangers conducted an investigation. Friday morning, wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife joined the investigation and recommended closing the area as a precaution.

Additional sightings were reported at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park midday Friday, and wildlife officials recommended closing that park as well.

The O’Neill closure includes the Vedanta Wilderness Area, Eagle Grove Day Use Area, Live Oak and connecting trails. The Mesa Day Use Area, Arroyo Trabuco and campgrounds remain open.

Thursday’s sightings at O’Neill Regional Park follow three sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on Monday, Sept. 19. Rangers and game wardens investigated those sightings on Monday and Tuesday. Rangers placed warning signs at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and continue to patrol the area.

Visitors to all wilderness areas should always remain alert to potential hazards and report any sightings to the park office at (949) 923-2260. If you encounter a mountain lion, make yourself look large, make noise, throw rocks and do not turn your back to the animal or run.

Please see the mountain lion flier on our website for information about what to do if you encounter one.


September 29, 2016 
Park Hours Change Starting Nov. 6

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.


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