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Hikin_Jim

Wood Fires in the OC?

Where can I test a wood stove in the OC?  In the San Gabs, I know I can go to any trail camp (Hogees, West Fork, Little Jimmy, etc.) and use (legally!) a wood stove there.  

But where can I go to in the OC?  The ideal would be something I could hike to, but I'll take what I can get.  I've heard of Fisherman's Camp in the Cleveland National Forest, but can I use a wood stove?  I assume that I can, but I can't really tell from the USFS website.  Anyone been there and have any general comments as well as comments on wood fires there?

Any county parks that anyone knows about?  Say something like at Henninger Flats which is run by LA county.  I'd be hiking with my 4 year old, so a short hike is best, say 2 miles or so, one way.

HJ
atomicoyote

No really good backcountry campsites in the Santa Ana Mtns,  but there are a few developed camprounds that allow fires in specific areas.  Two off of the Ortega Hwy (SR64) I can recommend are:

Caspers Regional Wilderness Park - This is a county park just up SR64 from San Juan Capistrano. They've got a developed campground, and plenty of hiking trails, but no backcountry camping.  This is the same park where there was a high profile attck by a mountain lion on a small girl many DECADES ago (and that attack still gets a lot of press when backcountry safety is in the news), but I consider the place quite safe.

Blue Jay Campground (actually in Riverside County) - Up SR64 about 19 miles from I-5, and about 3 miles off of the road.  This is a federal campground in the Cleveland National Forest, they allow fires in fire rings.  ITs also not too far from the Main Divide Truck Trail, which runs the length of the Santa Ana Mtns crest (and great for fire-road mountain biking).  

El Cariso and Upper San Juan Campgrounds - not recommeded, as they are right beside SR64.

Note that these are low-altitude campgrounds, and the areas get really hot during mid-summer.  

San MAteo Wilderness - there really are no backcountry campgrounds in it that I could recommend unless you want to go in from the Riverside County area, specifically near Wildomar (and thats a long drive!).
Hikin_Jim

Thank you.  I will check into those.

atomicoyote wrote:
Caspers Regional Wilderness Park - This is a county park just up SR64 from San Juan Capistrano. They've got a developed campground, and plenty of hiking trails, but no backcountry camping.  This is the same park where there was a high profile attck by a mountain lion on a small girl many DECADES ago (and that attack still gets a lot of press when backcountry safety is in the news), but I consider the place quite safe.
 Shocked   Zoiks since I have a small little girl that comes with me.  Hmm.

HJ
atomicoyote

If you don't worry about  cougars while hiking in other mountain ranges around L.A. you shouldn't need to worry about them in the Santa Ana Mtns either.  Southern Orange Conuty has grown exponentially since that incident, and Caspers Park is no longer an isolated area.  Here's an old SGMDF thread (2009) that contains info about the Laura Small incident at Caspers Park:

http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=1443&start=0

You can find more info by goolging 'Laura Small Cougar attack' or something similar.  I think it happened in 1981.  

Personaly I think the odds of getting hit by a tweeker driving a car on an L.A. freeway while talking on a cellphone are greater than getting attacked by a cougar in the Santa Ana Mtns.    Wink
HikeUp

Try the beaches.
tekewin

For some reason, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park seems to attract aggressive lions.  This small OC park has seen three lion attacks since 2000.  I've hiked all parts of it and been to the site of each attack.

There is food (deer) in the park for lions and the area is wedged in between housing developments on three sides.  I don't know of the geography has anything to do with it or if it is just coincidence.
Hikin_Jim

tekewin wrote:
For some reason, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park seems to attract aggressive lions.  This small OC park has seen three lion attacks since 2000.  I've hiked all parts of it and been to the site of each attack.

There is food (deer) in the park for lions and the area is wedged in between housing developments on three sides.  I don't know of the geography has anything to do with it or if it is just coincidence.
 Yipes.  Well, I definitely won't be taking my little daughter there.  


HJ
Hikin_Jim

So, I wound up at O'Neill Regional Park.  Did a little hiking on some of their trails.  Hot, humid, and you could occasionally hear the noise from the 241 toll road, but still nice to be out.

I asked, when I got there, where I could have wood fire.  I was told by the ranger at the gate that all the overnight camp sites have fire rings but that all the camp sites were full.  They have BBQ grills in the picnic area, so I asked if I could use my wood stove(s) there, and he said "sure, go ahead."  And so I did, even though I read something on their website to the effect that the BBQ grills were for charcoal only.

I'll post photos and my usual write up when time permits.

HJ
Hikin_Jim

CT ultralight wood stove from Suluk 46.



HJ

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