For an inspiring example of a land’s resilience after wildfire, hike the trails of the dog-friendly Peters Canyon Regional Park in central Orange County. Although the 2017 Canyon 2 Fire devastated the wildlife at the north end of the canyon and left charred willows in its wake, today an entire palette of green, yellow, and orange regrowth fills spaces that flames dominated just two years ago.
From the park entrance, start the 5.7-mile East Ridge Loop Hike by taking the 2-mile ramble on the Lake View Trail around Peters Canyon Reservoir until it feeds into the Peters Canyon Trail. Turn right to join this trail until you spot the largest hill in the park, “Big Red.” This rust-colored hill might look like it belongs on Mars, but it also indicates the start of the 1.5-mile East Ridge View Trail.
Conquer this challenging hill and reward your commitment to summer exercise with a vast view of Orange County from the second lookout point. Continue on the trail for a series of rollercoaster hills until it meets the Peters Canyon Trail again.
Take this 2-mile trail back to the park entrance to complete the loop. Maybe even customize your hike by exploring the 0.25-mile Creek Trail on your way back for some shade and creek crossings!
Map and info. To get to the entrance of the Peters Canyon Trailhead take Jamboree Rd. to where it intersects with Canyon View Ave. The address is 8548 E. Canyon View Ave. Orange, CA 92869. There is a dirt parking lot here, and it costs $3 to park. Dog-friendly!