Red Rock Canyon

A road trip to all of the great hikes in Arizona from the Grand Canyon through Utah and Zion National Park has been on my travel list for a while now. But, being a full time working student with multiple jobs can make this a little difficult. Luckily, Southern California has some pretty scenic hikes that will keep me satisfied for now. One of these trails is located in Lake Forest right in the middle of the suburbs, fairly close to my hometown. If you follow your navigation, you’ll come to a parking lot where the trailhead is distinctly marked so you can start your trek.

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The initial pathway in isn’t much of a hike, but it is easily navigated with clear-cut sand-filled walkways and signs, with houses visible on either side of the canyon. We came across a few little bridges stop mini rivers, and even found a carved out cave hidden among the greenery after carefully trekking through some foliage including poison ivy. While the landscape seems fairly normal at first, if you continue to follow the trickle of a riverbed full of rocks, you’ll start to see an increasing amount of cacti. When the dirt starts to redden, you know that you’re on the right path into the depths of the ravine.

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It is such a breath-taking view when the giant stunningly colored boulders come into sight – you literally feel like you are in a completely different place. I was able to climb and explore in the slots, using the grip on my hiking boots to navigate through the unstable gravel. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have the right gear and a steady hold, but you can still hang out on the rocks and enjoy the scenery. We made sure to leave around sunset since we didn’t want to end up trying to find our way back in the dark (not to mention, it began raining). Overall, it was approximately a four-mile trail and was completely worth it.

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