Edison Road from Concourse Park (Whiting Ranch)
- Location: Foothill Ranch in eastern Orange County. From Interstate 5, take the Bake Parkway exit and head northeast (left if you are coming from the north, or right if from the south) and go 5.5 miles to Portola Parkway. Turn right and go 0.7 miles to Glenn Ranch. Turn left and go 0.9 miles to Saddleback Ranch. In a mile, you’ll come to Concourse Park, on the left side of the road. Park in the lot or on the street.
- Agency: Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
- Distance: 3.2 miles
- Elevation gain: 850 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – May
- USGS topo maps: “El Toro”
- Recommended gear: insect repellent; sun hat
- More information: here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 6
Prepare for a lot of up and down on this trip through the center of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
This short but challenging hike leaves from Concourse Park in Portola Hills, and provides a lot of nice views of the Santa Ana Mountains and the surrounding area, in addition to being a good workout. The trail is almost entirely exposed, so plan accordingly, especially if the weather is warm. Since most of the climbing is done on the return, this can be a good late afternoon hike as long as you are back by sunset.
From Concourse Park, follow the fire road heading down into the canyon. Soon you pass by a sign indicating the entrance to the park. As you descend, you’ll get great views of Dreaded Hill and the other sites of the park.
In 0.4 miles, you reach the bottom of the hill. Head right and then immediately left on the signed Edison road. A steep ascent brings you to a hill where you get nice views of the area. You curve around the side of Dreaded Hill and make a more gradual descent to the trail’s end. The destination may seem a little anti-climatic, but you do get nice views of Lake Forest, Irvine, and on clear days the San Joaquin Hills.
Text and photography copyright 2011 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.