A couple of weeks ago I just had to get out of the house for an afternoon and found myself at the entrance to Peters Canyon Park. The last time I’d been there, the park was closed due to recent rains. This time, it was open.

Several trails run from the entrance around the edge of the park, and one goes inward to an area that’s currently closed off. Because…well…take a look:

Damaged sign: Warning - Mountain Lion Country

I couldn’t help but take a picture. It went so perfectly with this sign I found in Hawaii near the active lava flows:

Actually, the afternoon reminded me of that evening as well in that I went hiking without really being prepared for it. So in this case, I only spent about 30 minutes in the park, but it was a perfect de-stress and mental recharge.

Keep in mind that this is Southern California. Winter is when the wilderness (such as it is) turns green, and while temperatures are often in the fifties, it’s not uncommon for them to climb into the seventies or higher.

Who knew this was just minutes away from suburbia?

Actually, the park is nearly surrounded by suburbs. It’s a long finger (running along the canyon) with hills full of expensive houses to the west, newer suburbs to the south and east, and a little more wilderness to the north. Somewhere in the suburbs to the south, there used to be a Boy Scout campground called Camp Myford. When I was in scouts during the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was one of the counselors at the very last Cub Scout day camp held there, the week before the bulldozers came in to build new suburbs. If I have my bearings right, the gate is still there, not far from the intersection where I occasionally stop to take photos of Saddleback and the nearby hills.

I hiked along the Eucalyptus Trail, through that grove of trees up a hill to a viewpoint and the intersection with the East Ridge Trail. The first part was great. The second? No shade, no switchbacks, and a very steep trail full of ruts that I suspect is a converted firebreak. Lots of people were walking, jogging, or even biking (I’m not sure how they managed that part), but after only a few minutes of going up and down those hills, I decided it was time to head back.

Nice view, though!

In a couple of spots I saw posts that had been damaged by fire. I’m not sure when they were damaged, but if it was in the Santiago Fire back in 2007, that means it got a lot closer to homes in that area than I thought.

I have a few more pictures in a photoset on Flickr.
At some point I’ll have to go back when I’m actually prepared to hike!

2 thoughts on “Beware Mountain Lion (Peters Canyon Hike)

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