Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday Trail Run

Well, this weekend I had a bit of a scheduling snafu. Late Friday, the Social Director (aka The Admiral, The General, The President, etc.) reminded me that we had a graduation to go to Saturday morning. Ummm okay. I usually give my wife all kinds of grief for trying to remember appointments instead of calendaring them. I guess the shoe’s on the other foot.

Instead of spending Saturday on another boring long run around the Back Bay, I switched things up and did a longish trail run on Sunday. I headed back to Bommer Ridge but ended up on a trail that I hadn’t been on before – Emerald Canyon. This is a pristine canyon wedged in between the mountain biking paradise of El Moro and the artsy paradise of Laguna Canyon. Most would not even know it exists.

Entrance to the canyon is limited from below by the exclusive community at the foot of the canyon (Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach), so the only way in is from the north off Bommer Ridge, a few miles away and a few hundred feet up:

P5160022 P5160023

The trail quickly heads down hill into the canyon:

 P5160025 P5160027

Once down off the ridge top, the real beauty of the Coastal Oak covered canyon opens to those willing to work a little and adventure off the more popular paths:

P5160029 P5160031 P5160032Amazingly, some wildflowers are still in bloom. I say amazingly because we are starting our transition into summer, where the hillsides take on a brown hue as everything dries out:

P5160036P5160020 P5160021 P5160026 P5160028 Even a wild rose bush was in bloom:

P5160034 P5160033

About 4.75 miles from the start, I popped out of the lush canyon into coastal scrub, and eventually to the end of the trail:


Which meant only one thing. Back up up and away!

Since I wasn’t really relishing the though of heading back up to the top of the ridge, at 6 1/2 miles, I headed on a spur trail to Emerald Falls. I ended up in a little meadow – very unique for this area:

P5160039 P5160041

I eventually found the “falls”. I can just imagine them in all their glory. All 1 foot high. (You need to understand that flowing water in Southern California is a real anomaly. This winter was a *very wet* winter for us. With all 15 inches of rain.):


From there it was up up and up to El Moro Ridge:


And the uneventful 3 miles back to the car. Total mileage – 9.7. A little short of the 11 on the plan, but what I lacked in mileage I think I made up in elevation gain:

Running Bommer Ridge-El Moro 5-16-2010, Elevation - Distance

Just another successful trail run in the backcountry of Orange County!



  1. BEAUTIFUL!! I am so envious that you live in SoCal, one of my truly favorite places to visit! Sounds like the Admiral was actually helping ya out so you could do this awesome run. Pretty wicked elevation - yeah, you made up for the miles just fine. Glad you had a nice run in over the weekend, helps fuel the start of a Monday, huh???

  2. Very nice! Love the pictures too. Your trails in SoCal are so different from the trails we have here. If I lived there, I might actually like running trails!

  3. What a great route! The scenery looks gorgeous, but I can't believe those elevation changes.

  4. THose trails look like fun and I love the wild flower pictures. Glad you had some fun out there!

  5. Wow, what a beautiful route. I loved the shots of the wildflowers.

    I'm glad you got out there and got a nice run in.

  6. Hi Glenn,
    Wow! That looks like one of the most beautiful trail runs ever! You posted so many wonderful pictures:) Good job on your tough 9.7 mile trail run! Super Stud...thats what you are:)

  7. such beautiful pics... and then snooty neighborhood who puts up ugly chainlink fencing :)

    i am so jealous of all the trails out there that don't require an hour+ drive!

  8. Beautiful run! I also love when your shoes show where you've been. Nice job!

  9. WOW, those pictures are amazing. But, not quite as amazing as that elevation profile!!!

    My wife is totally my social dictator. But, I am OK with that.

  10. Your shoes look real nice! That elevation gain is insane! Great job on the trail run!

  11. Awesome trails, Glenn! And beautiful photos too. I love seeing the flowers in bloom. Great stuff!