Yucca Ridge/Robber’s Peak Loop (Santiago Oaks Regional Park)


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  • Location: Nohl Ranch Road and Serrano Avenue, Anaheim Hills. From the 55 Freeway, take the Katella Avenue exit and head east for a total of 2 miles (Katella becomes Villa Park Road, then Santiago Canyon Road). Turn left on Cannon Street, go 0.6 mile and then turn right on Serrano Avenue. Follow Serrano 2.2 miles to Anaheim Hills Elementary School. From the 91 Freeway, take the Imperial Highway exit and head south for 0.7 mile. Turn left on Nohl Ranch Road and follow it 2.4 miles to its ending at Serrano Avenue and Anaheim Hills Elementary School. From Riverside County, take the 91 Freeway west to Yorba Linda Blvd/Weir Canyon Road. Turn left and follow Weir Canyon Road south for 0.9 mile to Serrano Avenue. Turn right and follow Serrano 2.9 mile to Nohl Ranch Road and the school. If parking is unavailable at the school, you can park one block west of Nohl Ranch Road at Fred Barrera Park.
  • Agency: Santiago Oaks Regional Park
  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 850 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG
  • Suggested time: 1.5 hours
  • Best season: Year round but hot during the summer
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days)
  • Cell phone reception: Good for most of the route; weak in the lower areas of the park
  • Water: None (available nearby at Fred Barrera Park)
  • Restrooms: None (available nearby at Fred Barrera Park)
  • Backpacking/camping: None
  • More information: AllTrails report (similar route) here; park trail map here; Yelp page here
  • Rating: 5

Updated November 2018

Robber’s Peak, an outcrop of stone towering above the city of Orange, is named for the gangsters that used to use it as a lookout. While Robber’s Peak is on private property, hikers can enjoy panoramic views similar to those once taken in by the likes of Joaquin Murrieta and “Three Finger Jack” from another spot farther east along the ridge. The loop described below is one of several possible trips in the upper reaches of Santiago Oaks Regional Park, dropping into the canyon and climbing back up again to the view point. Santiago Oaks was hit hard by the 2017 Canyon II fire, so much of the vegetation has been burned. However, like the ABCD Loop, with which this route shares a leg, this hike is an enjoyable workout with a lot of up and down and, on days of good visibility, exceptional views. As with other hikes in Santiago Oaks, the route can easily be shortened or extended thanks to the large network of trails in the park.

The trail starts behind the portable classroom at the east end of the Anaheim Hills Elementary campus. A short but steady climb up a fire road brings you to Edition Ridge in 0.2 mile. Turn left and almost immediately bear right (the left fork leads to private land). At the next fork, turn right on the Yucca Ridge Trail which drops sharply into the canyon, losing almost 400 feet in half a mile.

Just before the bottom of the trail, make a hard right on the Coachwhip Trail (one of the “Cs” of the ABCD Loop). It makes a steady climb up a series of switchbacks, climbing more than 400 feet in a mile. At the top, you reach the Barham Ridge Trail; you can take a short detour to a view point on the right. To continue toward the view point, head left (north) on the Barham Ridge Trail, soon passing a junction with the Anaheim Hills Trail on your left (your return route) and another junction with the Anaheim Hills Trail on the right, where it heads toward Weir Canyon.

From here, you can climb to the view point, marked by an American flag, either by the fire road or via a steep use trail that climbs under the power lines. Though the lines are hard to ignore, the view is still impressive; on clear days you can see the Santa Ana Mountains, the ocean, the Palos Verdes peninsula and more.

After enjoying the vista, retrace your steps back to the junction and follow the Anaheim Hills Trail west as it drops off Barham Ridge and then climbs 200 feet to Edition Ridge. From here, follow the fire roads back to the school.

Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Start of the hike, behind Anaheim Hills Elementary School

Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange, CA

Junction with the Yucca Ridge and Anaheim Hills Trails at Edition Ridge

Yucca Ridge Trail, Anaheim Hills, CA

Descending the Yucca Ridge Trail

Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange County, CA

American Flag on the ridge near Robber’s Peak

Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange, CA

Looking east from the ridge

Anaheim Hills Trail, Orange County, CA

Last leg of the loop: Anaheim Hills Trail

Santiago Oaks Regional Park Orange County, CA

Heading back toward the trail head

Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange County CA

Oak at dusk

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.

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