Trabuco Creek Out-and-Back
ElevationAscent: 1,074' 328 m
Descent: -1,075' -328 m
High: 1,306' 398 m
Low: 501' 153 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
Current trail conditions
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“This hike is a great 13-mile out-and-back up the Arroyo Trabuco Trail, from Oso Pkwy into O'Neill Regional Park.”— wesley lummis
It is a beautiful area with wet creek crossing, lots of trees, dried creek beds, bridge underpasses, and mostly just a nice gentle, steady climb of only 100 ft. per mile. That makes this out-and-back nice since almost the entire way back is a nice, easy downhill.
At the O'Neill Park entry point, follow the paved drive straight instead of turning left, and find a drinking fountain next to the restrooms. This is the only water source on the whole route, so make sure you are carrying what you need for hydration to complete about 5.5 miles at a stretch.
About a half mile in, cross over Trabuco Creek and pick up the Arroyo Trabuco Trail on the other side. Turn right onto the Arroyo Trabuco Trail, and stay on this for about 5 miles until you reach O'Neill Regional Park. When you enter the park, turn left at the paved drive and head up to the Live Oak Trail entrance.
Continue along Live Oak Trail, following signs to stay on it, and continue climbing until your GPS says 6.55 miles. If you turn around now, you'll have completed 13 miles by the time you return to your vehicle. But why not just continue to the top of the hill? It's only about a half mile extra, and there's a nice bench to sit on and rest, and beautiful 360-degree views of the surrounding foothills and cities that makes the extra climb worthwhile.
Land Manager: OC Parks - O'Neill Regional Park