Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park encompasses approximately 2,500 acres of riparian and oak woodland canyons, rolling grassland hills and steep slopes of coastal sage scrub and chaparral. The park is highlighted by scenic rock formations, including the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. There are three intermittent streams: Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek meandering through the park, each hosting an abundance of wildlife. Remnants of the former cattle ranching days can be seen throughout the park.
Though 90% of the park burned in the Santiago Fire of 2007, the land is still in the recovery process. Please respect that process by staying on marked trails and following park rules.
Whiting Ranch is open 7 a.m. to sunset, year round, except after rain. Call the park office for current trail closures at (949) 923-2245.
The park contains 23 trails totaling approximately 17 miles of graded roads and single-track trails, providing excellent opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The Red Rock Canyon and Billy Goat trails are reserved for hikers only. The park also provides connectivity to other trails belonging to the OC Parks Regional Trails system, including the Edison Riding and Hiking Trail, Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail, Aliso Creek Bikeway, and Aliso-Serrano Riding and Hiking Trail.
Between June 18 to June 24 and July 5 to July 12, the Nature Communities Coalition (NCC), in collaboration with OC Parks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy will conduct an aerial weed survey during daylight hours using a small, low-flying helicopter to document and map the distribution of over 30 weed species located within selected inland parks and open space areas.
Whiting Ranch, Irvine, Santiago Oaks, Irvine Ranch Open Space and Peters Canyon will be included in the survey.
The resulting information will provide details about the abundance and distribution of invasive weeds and help land managers evaluate the effectiveness of current weed monitoring practices, identify emerging weed problems, and strategically plan future weed management actions.
Starting Sunday, March 13, the spring-summer hours for regional parks are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. That includes Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Laguna Niguel, Mason, Mile Square and Yorba regional parks. Irvine Regional Park opens at 6 a.m. and will close at 9 p.m. Wilderness parks are open at 7 a.m. and close at sunset year round.
The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) is an invasive beetle that attacks common native and landscape trees, leading to branch dieback and overall decline. This can have a devastating effect on local trees, and you may see some being treated or removed in County parks.
Gold Spotted Oak Borer (GSOB), an invasive beetle that has killed thousands of oak trees in San Diego and Riverside counties in a short span of time, has now been detected in Orange County. The GSOB was discovered in approximately 60 trees on County park land in northern Orange County. Since GSOB is transported in oak firewood, it is critical that Californians keep firewood local and not move it out of the area.
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