Loma Ridge Wildflower Hike
On Tuesday I went on another wildflower hike with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy
. This time the hike was in Limestone Canyon, specifically at Loma Ridge
. Also this was a dedicated photography hike so many of the hikers brought along various DSLR’s. Again our docent was Kelley, the same IRC employee who guided us in Round Canyon
the week before. We started at the Augustine Staging Area which is just off Santiago Canyon Road. After meeting in the parking area we all carpooled about a mile in to the trail head. This hike was a little faster paced, we still did stop a few times so she could tell us about the flora and fauna. Unlike Round Canyon this trail had a hill, now I’m not vary fond of hills so the elevation gain was a bit of a surprise. It was probably about 500 to 700 feet of climbing total but when you are carrying what feels like a 50lb camera it’s slightly more difficult. When we stopped at the top of the first part of our climb we could see the most spectacular view of Orange County all the way to Catalina island. We continued our climb and we ended up at a spot that overlooked part of Limestone Canyon. By then we had been hiking for about two hours so we decided that was good turn around point, plus the temperature was rising pretty quickly. This was a really fun hike but unfortunately the trail is not open to the public. The IRC does various hikes on this trail including cardio hikes if you really want a challenge. Every so often the IRC also has open access days where they open these trails to the public (they are having one this Saturday
). I highly recommend taking advantage of these programs if you ever get a chance and see how amazing the Irvine Ranch really is.
You can see more photos from my hike at Loma Ridge in our GALLERY. You can also click on the images below to see the large version.