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:
The trail quickly heads down hill into the canyon:
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:
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:
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:
Just another successful trail run in the backcountry of Orange County!