Saturday, February 23, 2013

Some Things Just Never Change

The last couple of times on Bommer Ridge, I’ve been giving a particular trail the evil eye as I pass:


From what I remember the last time I was down there almost two years ago, there was a ton of beauty. I also recall many curse words coming back out, even when I was in shape. But I guess, time heals all wounds (or at least deadens the pain), and yesterday I ventured back into Emerald Canyon.

The trail starts off dropping gently as it hugs a ridge off of Bommer:


Then, all of a sudden, there is a steep drop into the bowels of the canyon. At the bottom of the canyon is a wonderful grove of oaks and sycamore trees. This would be a great place for a picnic if it wasn’t three miles from the closest parking!


Right smack in the middle of this grove is the spur trail to climb back out:


It used to be that you could continue down the canyon to a dead end where Emerald Canyon enters a private community (Emerald Bay) in Laguna Beach. But, that trail was obliterated by the heavy rains during winter 2010/2011. There doesn’t appear to be any plans to rebuild access to the lower canyon.

Less than a quarter mile from the beginning of the spur, the trail pops out into something that we really don’t have a lot of here in Southern California – a meadow:


Just past the meadow, you reach the trail’s namesake – Emerald Falls. The falls themselves are a little anticlimactic. Hopefully people don’t take this trail for the view of the falls themselves (my handheld water bottle is thrown in for perspective):


In another half mile or so is where the fun really begins - a steep, rocky, technical trail that climbs relentlessly out of the canyon. I don’t think this photo gives the feel for just how steep the ascent is:


Maybe this one does. We were in that meadow down there a quarter mile ago:


Finally, two miles many gasping breaks and a few choice curse words after taking off from Bommer Ridge, we find ourselves back on El Moro Ridge:


And shortly after that, back on Bommer:


Total mileage from Pacific Ridge to Emerald to El Moro Ridge to Bommer Ridge and back to Pacific Ridge: 6 miles.

Running Bommer Ridge-El Moro 2-22-2013

Running Bommer Ridge-El Moro 2-22-2013, Elevation

The good news is I was able to pig out at Mi Casa for dinner!

  • Calories budgeted: 1530
  • Calories consumed: 2408
  • Exercise adjustment: 6 miles, 878 calories
  • Too few/(too many): (181 – but those chile rellenos were worth every calorie!)


  1. Mmmm Chile Rellenos after a sweet trail run - Nice!! That looks like some awesome trail Glen.

  2. A good run 6 miles, it would appear. And how nice to find you're getting to spend more time outdoors than in planes and hotel rooms. Hooray.

  3. What a beautiful area to run. I would love to run in a place like that. I have some good memories of southern California. I went to high school there.

  4. Whoa, that's steep! And I'm laughing at the "falls" pic...looks a little like Colorado's waterfalls the past few years. Great run - keep up the strength.

  5. Those are absolutely awesome trails. Very cool, and some pretty dramatic elevation changes. Great job, Glenn!

  6. Thanks for reminding of that trail. I eyed it a couple of weeks ago. Nice run!