Difficulty G Distance 0 to 2 miles Hikes with free parking Puente Hills, Chino Hills & North Orange County Rating: 1-3 Season: All year

Rattlesnake Trail (Orange)

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Rattlesnake Trail, Orange, CA
Heading downhill on the Rattlensake Trail with the San Gabriels and Robber’s Peak in the distance
Flowers on the Rattlesnake Trail, Orange, CA
Spring wildflowers, Rattlesnake Trail

Rattlesnake Trail (Orange)

  • Location: Orange, at the intersection of Randall St. and Kennymead St. From the 55 Freeway, take the Katella Ave. exit. Head east (turn left if you’re coming from the north; right if from the south) and follow Katella for a total of 3 miles, during which time it changes its name to Villa Park and then to Santiago Canyon. Turn right on Meads, go 0.3 miles and turn left on Randall. Follow it 0.2 miles to the intersection with Kennymead and park where available. From the 91 Freeway, take the Imperial Highway exit and head south for 3.3 miles (Imperial becomes Cannon along the way). Turn left on Santiago Canyon, go a mile and turn right on Meads. Go 0.3 miles and turn left on Randall and follow it 0.2 miles to Kennymead. No parking is allowed on Mondays from 7 to 11am.
  • Agency: City of Orange
  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 150 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: G
  • Suggested time: 1 hour
  • Best season: All year
  • USGS topo map: Orange
  • More information: City of Orange recreational trails page here; Everytrail report here
  • Rating: 2

Though it’s too short to offer much in the way of scenic variety of physical challenge, the City of Orange’s Rattlesnake Trail is an enjoyable destination for those who feel they’ve seen it all when it comes to the county’s regional parks. While it doesn’t offer the remoteness of nearby Irvine Regional Park or Santiago Oaks Regional Park, it’s still a nice example of how a recreational trail can exist in a residential neighborhood, providing hikers and equestrians with an alternative to pavement.

Rattlesnake Trail, Orange, CA
0:00 – Trail head (click thumbnails to see the full sized versions)

From the intersection of Kennymead and Randall, follow the signed trail into a small canyon shaded by willows and eucalyptuses. You soon exit into an open space bordered by a fence on one side and houses on the other. At about 0.3 miles, you enter a more vegetation-heavy area with more willows, a few lone palms and cacti; despite the noise of nearby Santiago Canyon Road, this part of the trail feels more like wilderness.

Palm trees, grass and wildflowers on the Rattlesnake Trail, Orange, CA
0:08 – Thicker vegetation (times are approximate)

The trail continues up the shallow canyon before curving around to another eucalyptus grove near its end on Ridgeline Street. A few logs make for a nice resting spot in the shade before returning. On the way back, if the air is clear, you can see Robber’s Peak and even the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.

Top end of the Rattlesnake Trail, Orange, CA
0:20 – Turnaround point, Ridgeline St.

Text and photography copyright 2015 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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