By Danny Ritz

County Park Rangers lead a free nature hike every Sunday morning through a portion of Caspers Wilderness Park. Photo: Danny Ritz
County Park Rangers lead a free nature hike every Sunday morning through a portion of Caspers Wilderness Park. Photo: Danny Ritz

What: Nature loop hike led by Orange County Park Ranger

When: Every Sunday at 8 a.m.

Where: Caspers Wilderness Park’s Old Corral day-use parking lot (33401 Ortega Hwy)

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Length of Hike: 1 1/2 hours

Caspers Wilderness Park, the 8,000-acre protected wilderness preserve nestled in the western foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains in San Juan Capistrano, is offering a free guided hike through one of its unique sandstone canyon formations.

Caspers Wilderness Park has a dynamic history, which includes ancient Native American inhabitance and a number of land ownership exchanges, which makes it a landscape deserving of professional guidance.

Caspers Wilderness Park features over a dozen full-scale hiking trails and every Sunday at 8 a.m., an Orange County Park Ranger will be leading a free hike of the Nature Loop beginning at the Old Corral day-use parking lot.

This one-mile hike, which borders the Bell Canyon Trail, exposes hikers to the vast diversity and rich, natural resources of the park. Dense coastal sagebrush and yucca are complimented by iconic live oak woodlands and California sycamores that often arch over the trail’s path.

Native wildlife known for frequenting the park include jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions.

Driving east on Ortega Highway toward Caspers Wilderness Park makes one feels as if they are crossing back in time. The equestrian day-use area and the Historic Windmill are just a few of the many examples indicative of the transformative experience available at Caspers Wilderness Park.

This hike is free to the public and considered accessible to all ages. The Park’s $5 day-use parking fee applies. Domestic animals are not allowed within the park.

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