Hiking 101: Trail Tips for Beginners – Saddleback Wilderness

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking 101: Trail Tips for Beginners - Saddleback Wilderness

Hiking is a great way to connect to nature and stay healthy and active. If you are new to the outdoors, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Come out to the Saddleback Wilderness, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, and start your hiking journey, or continue your existing one, on the right foot. Hiking 101 will help you understand gear, build your knowledge and skills and provide tips to assist you out on the trails. We will lead you through the basics of hiking: defining your hiking goals, packing appropriately, understanding and minimizing risks, and practicing proper trail etiquette. The activity will include a packing demonstration and a hike through our wildlands. No experience is necessary for this activity. 

The hike portion is up to 3 miles in length with minimal elevation gain. We will hike along one of the singletrack trails through dense coastal sage scrub and then along a ranch road out to an overlook point with a spectacular view of Orange County. Please bring water, sunscreen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe, and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes suitable for mild trails. Each participant must carry their own water and supplies.

Please note that you will be asked to adhere to the following measures in order to participate:

  • Be registered in advance, no walk-up registration is permitted.
  • Arrive with all necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail, including water, proper attire, and closed-toe footwear, first aid, health needs etc.
  • Restrooms will be available, but facilities will not be sanitized for each individual.
  • All participants are required to sign a liability waiver upon arrival at the staging area and before beginning the activity. The waiver can be previewed here: IRC Liability Waiver
  • You may be prevented from participating if you do not adhere to the above protocols.

Additionally, in an effort to respect and protect all employees, volunteers, and participants, please do not sign up or attend if you are not feeling well, exhibiting any symptoms of illness or have been in recent contact with someone who was ill.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Activity Details Led by IRC

Thursday, August 29, 2024
8:30 am - 11:00 am
Duration (hours:minutes):
Hiking & Fitness
OC Parks
Saddleback Wilderness
Staging Area:
Saddleback Staging Area
3.5 miles
Elevation Change:
350 feet
Minimum Age:
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens on 8:00am on 08/14/2024

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