It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and my friend’s Ann, Noel & JJ invited us to hike the Santiago Motorway hike in South Orange County. We were very excited to get outdoors! It had been approximately 2 months since our last hike. This hike is located right in our back yard and very easy to access.
The hike was beautiful and there were some high points that showcased Orange County, California. We were able to see the Orange Helium balloon from afar. The valley is large and gorgeous.
Here’s a quick overview of the hike:
Distance: 6+ miles
Duration: 2.5-3 hours
About this hike: Bald Peak is located in the Cleveland National Forest on the dividing line between Orange and Riverside counties. At 3947 feet it is one of the minor peaks in the Santa Ana Mountains. There is NO shade on this hike. So make sure you and your dogs get hydrated often! You can rest at the bench atop of the mountain.
Directions: Heading east on Chapman Ave or north on El Toro Road takes you to Santiago Canyon Road. Santiago Canyon Road connects to Live Oak, Modjeska and Silverado Canyon Roads.
Here is our group of hikers sans our two little dogs (JJ & Bebot) who were hiding in the shade from the beating sun!
The paths are very well maintained. When ascending the mountain there are tons of small rocks which start to get painstaking to hike if your soles are thing. Best bet is to wear proper hiking shoes to protect your ankles and from wearing out your soles.
We would definitely trek this hike again. I would definitely do it in the seasons where it isn’t has hot (January to February) and wear proper hiking shoes. Our feet were so sore from the hike afterwards with normal tennis shoes!