Oak Canyon, Enchanting Forest of Middle Earth

DSC00162 (2)


The enchanted forest of middle earth is a place of wonder and amazing flora. A forest consisting of centuries-old trees, some able to walk and talk like humans. Fairies, elves, dwarfs, and hobbits trek through the woods on a daily occurrence. Oak Canyon may not completely resemble J.R.R. Tolkien’s version of an enchanted forest, or even a New Zealand forest as filmed in the movies, but in some ways it does remind me of an enchanted forest. 

Oak Canyon is nestled in Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA, and can be easily reached if you are in the Southern California area. The visitors may not be as exotic as elves and hobbits and trees don’t have the ability to speak, but for a brief moment you feel like you are trekking through an enchanted land in another world. This version mostly consist of human hikers, and coyotes and mountain lions after dark. The Oak Canyon trail is a short 15 to 20 minute hike so our OC Hiking Club combined it with other trails to create a loop approximately 4 miles long.

casperpark (2) [10320]


West Ridge atop the sandy cliffs


We started the hike on the Dick Loskorn Trail and ascended to the West Ridge Trail that acts as a natural boundary for the park. We then started our descent via the Star Rise Trail and made our way through the Oak Trail through Oak Canyon. The West Ridge is a manageable 400 foot ascend and is the only challenging portion of this hike making the trek manageable for most ages and physical conditions. This route should take 90 minutes to complete, a little bit longer if you want to enjoy the views as I did.

I want to apologize to the group for not being able to fit everyone in one photo as I only brought my telephoto lens. I also want to thank, the camera-shy and not pictured here, Azita for leading this wonderful expedition.