Gay hiking

Santiago Oaks Regional Park offers 18 miles of hiking – Orange County Register

  • A man admires the view from Robber’s Roost at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif., on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Legend has it that bandits Joaquin Murieta and Three Finger Jack used the lookout in the late 1800s after stagecoach flights. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Registry/SCNG)

  • A bee checks a California bush sunflower at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif. on Sunday, March 7, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hikers cross Santiago Creek in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif. on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A mountain biker walks through Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif., on Sunday, March 7, 2021. In addition to hiking, the park allows horses and dogs on leashes. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Registry/SCNG)

  • An acorn woodpecker watches from its perch at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif. on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A hiker crosses Santiago Creek in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif. on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Visitors take in the view from Robber’s Roost at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif., on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Legend has it that bandits Joaquin Murieta and Three Finger Jack used the lookout in the late 1800s (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Looking east over the city of Orange, riders ride at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange, Calif. on Sunday, March 7, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Santiago Oaks Regional Park, seen here Sunday, March 7, 2021, attracts mountain bikers, hikers, horseback riders and allows dogs on leash to Orange, Calif. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Registry/SCNG)

  • Santiago Oaks Regional Park, seen here on Sunday, March 7, 2021, attracts mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians to Orange, Calif. The park is connected to Irvine Regional Park and Weir Canyon Nature Preserve on miles of trails. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Registry/SCNG)

Santiago Oaks Regional Park has a little something for everyone and is steeped in history.

The park, located east of Orange, is a spider’s web of 18 miles of trails, so one can create a hike as long or short as desired.

Mountain bikers, horse riders and dogs on a leash are all welcome in the park.

Irvine Regional Park to the south and Weir Canyon Wilderness Park to the north connect to the park by various trails.

Story: The Santiago Creek, which runs through the park, has been mined for sand and gravel for construction and water for agriculture over the years.

A submerged dam built in 1879 brought underground water to the surface to irrigate the orange groves. The dam is still visible today with a trickle of flowing water and a handful of orange trees are found on the property.

The highest point, which is just outside the park boundary, is Robber’s Roost at 1,079 feet. Legend has it that bandits Joaquin Murrieta and Three Finger Jack used the lookout post to spot arriving stagecoaches in the late 1800s.

A visit to Robber’s Roost offers 360 degree views for miles.

Starting point : The main entrance is at 2145 N. Windes Drive in Orange. Parking is $3 on weekdays, $5 on weekends, and an OC Parks annual pass can be used.

Distance: 18 miles of interconnected trails

Difficulty: From easy to difficult

What to bring: Water, sunscreen, hiking shoes, map, snacks