2023 Dec 3 Field Trip – Fall Color Hike Through Falls Canyon

Fall Color Trip to Falls Canyon

Santa Ana Mountains

Sunday December 3, 2023

This field trip filled to capacity. Registration is closed.

Falls Canyon Trail, Photo: R. Vanderhoff

HIKE: We will hope for clear fall skies, brisk temperatures, and maybe even a little water in the creek, as we celebrate the colors of the season right here in Orange County. The drive up the gravel road of Trabuco Canyon is an adventure in itself, but we won’t go all the way to the end (unless a few brave souls insist after the trip). We will stop a little way inside the National Forest boundary where the big leaf maples and western sycamore sometimes glow at this time of the year. After a brief enjoyment of Trabuco Canyon and its colors we will hike one mile up the little known, but beautiful and shaded Falls Canyon. At the falls we will relax, enjoy, and share. With luck (fall rains) we will end at a beautiful 30-foot waterfall. Along the way, we will explore for plants, seeds, fruits, more fall color and other signs of the season.

SOCIAL: With the more mellow and gentle time of year, we encourage every participant to bring along something to share aloud that might align with the day, the place, or the time of year. It might be a passage from a book, a meaningful poem, a quote that you particularly enjoy, or even a song you’re willing to sing. We will share and enjoy the time together.

REGISTER: Register and “sign” the waiver via the link below to attend this event. – Registration is now closed

Fall Canyon seasonal waterfall, Photo: R. Vanderhoff

Free and open to all who register.

Leader: Ron Vanderhoff.

Register – Waiver Sign Here: This field trip filled to capacity. Registration is closed.

Bring: Hiking or trail shoes only (no tennis shoes, sandals, etc.), hat, sunscreen, water.

Facilities: No restrooms or water.

Time: Approx. 3 hours.

Plant Intensity: Moderate.

Physical Difficulty: Moderately difficult with several places of scrambling, some climbing over fallen trees, and some slippery, loose soil. Depending on rainfall feet may get wet from the stream crossings.

Please Read:

  • This is a hike on only a partial trail. The hike begins with a steep but short navigation down, into and across Trabuco Creek, to the canyon mouth. Once in the canyon there are a few areas of boulder hopping, a bit of scrambling and a few steep, slippery inclines to navigate across. Depending on rainfall, there are also 3 or 4 stream crossings and your feet might get wet! Poison oak is encountered moderately along the trail as well. Please do not wear tennis shoes or sandals; hiking shoes with rugged soles are best.
  • Vehicle: Car travel from the meeting area to the trailhead is best in an SUV or other high clearance vehicle, but passenger cars can make it – just don’t bring your new Tesla! In spite of all these warnings, it’s a terrific fall trip!

Meet Time and Location: 9 AM at the intersection of Trabuco Canyon Road and the large and obvious gravel wash of Trabuco Creek (at the unsigned Trabuco Creek Road). This is just 150 yards SE of Rose Canyon Road (which is signed). – This field trip is for people who registered on or before November 30. 

Fall Canyon hikers.
Photo: R. Vanderhoff