This is a nice, secluded hike down along Trabuco Creek, followed by scenic views along the ridgeline running parallel to Ladera Ranch and Trabuco Canyon.
Parking is free, just north of Oso Pkwy. Turn right off Antonio Pkwy onto Oaktree, and use the parking lot at Oak Tree Park.
From Oak Tree Park, cross over Antonio Pkwy on foot and head north along the sidewalk. Refer to the map and Hiking Project mobile app
, and take the second left turn off the sidewalk and onto the Tijeras Spur Trail
. The paved path will curve to the right and the trailhead will be on the left a little way down at the O'Neill Park kiosk. Go down the main path and stay left at the bottom.
About a half mile in, cross over Trabuco Creek and pick up the trail on the other side. Turn left to head south along Trabuco Creek Rd. Continue along Trabuco Creek Rd., crossing Trabuco Creek three more times, and passing under Oso Pkwy.
Continue south until you pass under Crown Valley Pkwy. A short distance later, continue along the trail and climb the switchbacks up the east side of the canyon and continue onto the County Regional Trail
. Continue up and down the rolling hills of County Regional Trail
, stopping whenever desired to enjoy the views of surrounding cities and foothills.
When the trail runs out, roughly 6.6 miles from your starting point, simply turn around and retrace your steps to Oak Tree Park. Congratulations!
Rabbits, deer, owls, and if you're hiking the the dark, beware mountain lions and the giant spiders that like to build their webs at face level right across the trail.