Hike 5: Robber’s Retreat

Hike 5/52

3.6 Mile out and back with a loop thrown in there
Parking:  $3 week days / $5 weekends

Finally having a free morning my girlfriend and I hit the trail and set out to tackle Robber’s Peak Loop Trail.  A 4 mile loop that takes you through a ridge line in Santiago Oak Regional Park in Orange, CA.  This is a trail we tried doing on Saturday, April 29, but the wind was just blowing too much, and we got to the park to find out it’s $3 on the week days and $5 on the weekends, which isn’t anything at all I just sadly had no cash on me.  So we came back.

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The hoop is so happy it’s floating.

The trail starts out nice and flat, all the road and dirt path are easily marked and not hard to get through, there were several mountain bikes and horseback riders out.  Remember to share the trail, especially with horses.  About after a mile of walking you start to come up this climb, it’s not bad at first but just before the look out point there’s some crazy steep walking.  I totally got beat up and down that section.  Properly named Mountain Goat Trail.  You go from an elevation of about 583ft to about 935ft in about half a mile.  Nothing terrible, it just wasn’t my day today for it.

Once you reach the top of the climb though you’re greeted with a crazy beautiful view of Irvine Regional park to the east and back to Santiago Oak Regional Park.

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Looking toward Irvine Regional Park from the top of Mountain Goat Trail.

The original loop has you continue along the ridge line and around the valley toward the starting point.  Due to the heat however and my not feeling so hot, after seeing the ridge line just continued to climb we turned back to explore some of the lower trails.

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The original Robber’s Peak Loop
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My trip, I named, the Robber’s Retreat

Turning back we took a trail that said Cactus Canyon and followed that down the hill and back toward Santiago Oak Trail.  Going down Cactus Canyon was a much gentler decent compared to the climb and rocks of Mountain Goat.

Once you’ve made your way down Cactus Canyon you’ll come to Bumble Bee trail, walking up Mountain Goat, before the “big” climb you’ll see a marker for Bumble Bee.  You’ll want to bare hikers left when you come to Cactus Canyon and Bumble Bee to get back to Santiago Oak Trail.

All in all this trail is a lot of fun.  If you try and walk it this summer, I’d suggest either getting there early, when the park opens at 7am, or don’t push yourself during the mid day.  I’ll most certainly come back to this trail later in the summer, maybe for an evening walk.  Also watch out for snakes, we spotted a juvenile rattle snake just on the edge of the trail.  It wasn’t aggressive but no one likes a surprise.

I also took along my new goodwill backpacking camera, an awesome Vivitar PN2011 panorama camera.  I snapped off a few photos with it and when I finish the roll tomorrow I’ll post the film photos from the walk.  So a 2 part post.

You can check out my trip here or you can see the original Robber’s Peak Loop trail here.

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