Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hike Mt. San Gorgonio South Fork Loop

Mt. San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California at 11,502 feet and is a must do hike for any Southern California hiker. Recently, I had the chance to hike the South Fork Loop with a couple of buddies from work, Jon Kaplan and Kyle Carrolle. The South Fork Loop to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio was an absolutely beautiful hike with spectacular views of the greater Southern California area. The San Gorgonio Wilderness, where this hike is located, is the largest high-altitude wilderness area in Southern California and is a hiker's paradise. Bottom-line, this is a hike that should be on every avid Southern California hiker's to do list. For more pictures, make sure to check out our Facebook Page.

Directions to Trailhead: To hike to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio via the South Fork Loop, you will start from the South Fork Trailhead. From Orange County, take the 91 freeway east towards Riverside. Stay on the 91 freeway which eventually becomes the 215 freeway. The 215 freeway eventually intersects with Interstate 10. At the 215 freeway and Interstate 10 interchange, take Interstate 10 going East toward Palm Springs. Exit from Interstate 10 on University which is in the City of Redlands. Make a left and follow University (You will pass through Redlands University) until you meet Highway 38. Take a right on Highway 38, going toward the San Bernardino Mountains. In several miles you will pass the Mill Creek Ranger Station (Where you obtain the additional wilderness permit if you have not gotten it early), continue up into the San Bernardino National Forest. Highway 38 will take you to the trailhead. Exit highway 38 onto Jenks Lake Road (This road is located before Barton Flats and can be easily passed if you are not looking out for it). Take Jenks Lake Road a couple of miles and the trailhead is on your left hand side. It is a large parking lot with a big sign indicating the South Fork Trailhead. (A Forest Adventure Pass is needed as well as a free Wilderness Permit for the San Gorgonio Wilderness).

Description of Hike: To day hike or overnight backpack in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, you must have an additional wilderness permit (The Permit is Free), in addition to the Forest Adventure Pass. You can
Follow this link for the permit. The link will direct you to the wilderness permit application. You can obtain the additional wilderness permit early from the Mill Creek Ranger Station which is the easiest way, or you will have to stop at the Mill Creek Ranger Station before you go hiking. Each trail in the San Gorgonio Wilderness has a set quota for the number of hikers allowed on each trail and once the quota is reached the Forest Service doesn't issue more wilderness permits for the trail. That is why I recommend you get your wilderness permit early for your hike to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio. You can obtain a permit up to 90 days before your hike.

Mt. San Gorgonio is located in the San Gorgonio Wilderness (approximately 58,969 Acres). The total length of the hike to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio via the South Fork Loop is 21 miles roundtrip with a 4,601 foot elevation gain. This loop is a popular trail to hike for many, but is not as popular as the vivian creek trail, bottom-line is you should expect to see other hikers while hiking the South Fork Loop.  The permit quota often fills up for this hike, especially during weekends during peak summer months, so get your free wilderness permit in advance. The hiking trail is well maintained and is usually in good condition. All trails along the South Fork Loop are well marked, except right by Dry Lake. This hike is very strenuous and only fit hikers should hike to the summit in one day. If you plan on doing this hike in one day, it is a good idea to train on other hikes like Mt. Baden Powell or Mt. San Jacinto in preparation for this hike.

From the South Fork Trailhead, you take the South Fork Hiking Trail which passes by Horse Meadows and then crosses into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The South Fork Trail goes to the South Fork Meadow, where you continue on the South Fork the trail to Dollar Lake. Once you get close to Dollar Lake, you will see signs for the Dollar Lake Trail. You can take a short side excursion of less than half a mile one way to see Dollar Lake which is located at approximately 9,300 feet. The side excursion is worth it during wet years when water is in Dollar Lake. After passing the turnout for Dollar Lake, continue another 0.7 miles on the South Fork Trail to Dollar Saddle. Dollar Lake Saddle is located at 9,960 feet and there is no camping or viable water sources past this point. From Dollar Saddle head toward the Summit of Mt. San Gorgonio which is approximately 5 miles from Dollar Saddle. This section of the hike from Dollar Saddle to the Summit of Mt. San Gorgonio is a steady uphill hike.

Once you hike to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio you will return via the Sky High Trail which will take you to Dry Lake. From Dry Lake, you will continue all the way down back to the South Fork Meadow and continue all the way back to the Trailhead. There is camping available at Dry Lake (Water is available almost year round at Lodge Pole Springs, except during extreme drought years), Trail Flats (No water available), Dollar Lake (Water available seasonally from lake and a spring to the extreme south of the lake, both typically run dry at some point during the year). The South Fork Loop is one of the most popular hiking routes to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio for hikers to use. In our opinion this is the most scenic rout to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio.

Further Thoughts: A map of the San Gorgonio Wilderness is always a good thing to bring along with you when hiking in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The San Gorgonio Wilderness Association Store has one for sale. For those who want to split the hike up into multiple days, which is recommended if you want to enjoy being out in the wilderness and because this hike is extremely difficult to complete in one day, several campgrounds are available. During the summer months always be on the watch for thunderstorms, in the past, Ashley and I have encountered several while hiking in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. For current weather conditions and forecasts for this area you want to check with the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association's website to find current trail conditions and weather forecasts. Click Here for a live webcam of San Gorgonio courtesy of BigBearWeather.com.

It took our group just under 12 hours to complete this loop in one day. Our time included a one hour stay at the top of Mt. San Gorgonio as well as multiple stops along the way. To really enjoy this hike, it would be recommended to split this hike up into a couple of days. Fit hikers will be able to do this hike in one day, however it is more enjoyable split up into multiple days.

There are several points of interest along this hike where you can have great pictures and/or views, notably Poop Out Hill just before the wilderness entrance, Dollar Lake, the Summit, Dry Lake, and the airplane wreckage along the Sky High Trail. On the Sky High Trail you will find an airplane wreck from 1953, where a military plane crashed into the side of Mt. San Gorgonio during a snow storm. Most of the wreckage is still there and sadly everyone on the plane was lost.

During the winter this area gets a lot of snow. For those that do this hike in the winter always make sure to check the weather conditions and information provided by the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association's Bulletin Board. If you are doing this hike in the winter you will likely need crampons, snow shoes, and good winter gear. Remember, snow can be present for many months of the year on the trail to the summit of San Gorgonio so make sure to check the conditions if you are doing this hike in late fall, the winter, or the spring. If you do this hike during the cold winter months make sure you are prepared with proper gear as only experienced hikers should do this hike during the winter.

Rating: Elevation Gain: 4,601 ft. (Strenuous), Distance: 21 Miles Roundtrip (Strenuous), Note: be on the watch for Altitude sickness since the height of Mt. San Gorgonio is 11,502 ft.

Time to Complete Hike: 9 - 12 hours.

Good Training Hikes: Mt. Baden-Powell, Mt. San Jacinto, Saddleback Mountain, Cucamonga Peak, Mt. Baldy.

MORE TRAIL WRITE-UPS ON MT. SAN GORGONIO







South Fork Loop (This Post)


View San Gorgonio Loop in a larger map

Friday, August 1, 2014

USS Midway in San Diego

The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. Recently, Ashley and I had the chance to visit and explore the USS Midway on one of our weekend excursions. When you visit the USS Midway in San Diego, you can spend the entire day exploring more than 60 exhibits with a collection of 29 restored aircraft. The USS Midway is truly a fun Southern California excursion and has something for the entire family. For more more pictures of our visit to the USS Midway, make sure to check out our Facebook Page.

Directions to USS Midway: The USS Midway Museum is located at 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, 92101, alongside Navy Pier. It is a short drive for almost anyone in Southern California. You also have the option of taking the Pacific Surfliner to the Downtown San Diego Train Station, which is only a short 5 minute walk from the USS Midway. There are more than 300 parking spaces alongside the USS Midway on Navy Pier (owned and operated by the Port of San Diego). Parking rates are: $5.00 for one hour Midway vendor parking, $10.00 for up to twelve hour general parking, and $20.00 for special events such as America's Cup, Fourth of July, Comic Con and other special events not specific to the USS Midway. For directions via Google Maps to the USS Midway, click Here

Description of Tour of USS Midway: This is obviously a different type of write-up than a typical hiking trail write-up on our website and thus our review will be slightly modified. The USS Midway tour is well organized and you can spend an entire day exploring the USS Midway. The tours throughout the USS Midway are well mapped out and you can explore the flight deck, the hanger decks, as well as decks 2, 3, and 4 below the hanger deck (the sick bay is pretty neat as well as the galley). Exhibits range from the crew's sleeping quarters to a massive galley, engine room, the ship's jail, officer's country, post office, machine shops, and pilots' ready rooms, as well as primary flight control and the bridge high in the island over the flight deck. For a map of the entire ship with a detailed list of exhibits click Here.  The USS Midway Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Last admission is at 4 p.m. General Admission is $20 for Adults, $17 for Seniors (62+), $15 for Students (13-17 or w/ college ID), $10 for Retired Military (with valid ID), and $10 for Youth (ages 6-12). Admission is complementary for Active-Duty military with ID and children 5 years or younger. Please note that prices are cheaper if you purchase them online by clicking Here. Occasionally, Groupon or Costco also sell cheaper group tickets as well.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I really enjoyed our visit to the USS Midway in San Diego. We made a day trip out of our visit to the USS Midway and took the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner from the Irvine Train Station to the Downtown San Diego Train Station. We would highly recommend taking the train down to visit the USS Midway. It is a nice relaxing trip that allows you to avoid beach traffic as well as save on the cost of parking at the USS Midway. The Train Station in Downtown San Diego is only a short walk from the USS Midway and you will likely find other USS Midway visitors taking the train as well.

The USS Midway is an amazing experience and Ashley and I would highly recommend talking with the docent volunteers on the ship. Many of the volunteers are veterans and some of them even served on the USS Midway. Ashley and I got to talk with one of the docents who was the head cook on the USS Midway from 1970 to 1971. We got a behind the scenes tour of the area and truly got to experience what it was like feeding the sailors on the USS Midway. The galley on the ship for the enlisted men was open for 23 hours a day and was closed one hour for cleaning. The USS Midway even had its own bakery for fresh bread and we got an in-depth crash course on the logistics of feeding thousands of people on a daily basis.

One of the docents we talked with was a veteran who served on one of the United States nuclear ballistic missile submarines. He provided Ashley and I with a wealth of knowledge of what life was like on the USS Midway and gave a tour of lower decks of the ship. One of the neat things that we would highly recommend is a tour of the flight deck. The flight deck has a number of aircraft for exploration as well as a separate tour of the bridge. The tour of the bridge is a separate behind the scenes excursion that you need to get in line for while on the flight deck. The tour is limited because of the tight quarters climbing the stairwells between decks on the bridge.

The USS Midway also has the fantail cafe located at the stern of the ship with several nice eating options and a nice little seating area at the end of the ship. Ashley and I ate lunch while visiting the USS Midway and because it was a weekend got to enjoy the music from the street musicians that play on the boardwalk by the end of the street. When visiting the USS Midway it is important to keep in mind that the ship was made for war, not comfort. You will have to climb stairways and travel through tight quarters in locations.

Ashley and I love these type of historical adventures and would highly recommend it to others! Another fun historical adventure in Southern California is the USS Iowa in Los Angeles.  

Rating: When visiting the USS Midway it is important to keep in mind that the ship was made for war, not comfort. You will have to climb stairways and travel through tight quarters in locations. Anticipate walking a lot while on the ship. 

Time to Explore USS Midway: To fully explore all the USS Midway has to offer it will take you at least half a day, if not a full day.


View USS Midway in a larger map
 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

OC Parks August 2014 Calendar of Events

Here are some highlights from the OC Parks August Calendar of events, if you are looking for hiking ideas or other outdoor events in the month of August, make sure to check out some of these great events!

OC Parks AUGUST 2014 calendar of events

August 1 – Explore the Plants on the Trail to Barbara’s Lake
8 – 10:30 a.m.
Join us on a wonderful morning walk to Orange County’s only natural lake while learning about our native California plant life. This 2-mile leisurely hike will be led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists.
Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. 18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Cost: $2 donation per person Parking: $3 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2235
Special Instructions:  Ages 8 and up. Online reservations required, sign-up online: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5-miles south of I-5/405). For questions, call (949) 497-8324.

August 1 – Animals In My Backyard – Preschool Program 
10 – 11 a.m.
Come learn all about animals you find in your backyard! Class includes hands-on learning, fun crafts, and meeting zoo animals up close!
Location: Orange County Zoo. 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
Website: http://www.ocparks.com/oczoo/
Cost: $5 per child (one parent included) Parking: $3 per vehicle
Contact: (714) 973-6846
Special Instructions: PHONE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Call Marcy Crede-Booth, Education Coordinator at (714) 973-6846. For ages 3 to 4 years old. Parent must accompany child for duration of program. Additional parents/siblings/family/friends must pay admission fee to enter zoo.

August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – Wild Tales
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Visit with Preserve staff for story-telling fun! After a story, learn more about the natural history of the Bay through crafts, hands-on activities and nature walks. Come prepared for an exciting outdoor experience!
Location: Upper Newport Bay. 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Cost: $5 per student Parking: Free
Contact: (949) 923-2290
Special Instructions: Ages 2 to 8 years. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please call (949) 923-2275, or email unbic@ocparks.com to register.  

August 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 30, 31  – Redwood Hike
8:30 – 10 a.m.
Join OC Parks' trained staff on an easy 1.1-mile hike to the park's Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the way. The hike begins each Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. from the park's Nature Center. Don't forget to visit our Nature Center when you are there, too!
Location: Carbon Canyon Regional Park. 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, CA 92823
Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Contact: (714) 973-3160
Special Instructions: All ages. Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat, hiking shoes. Meet at Nature Center located at east end of the park. Reservations preferred, please call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com.

August 2 – Exploring Nature with a Camera 
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Explore nature in the summer - using a digital camera.  Bring your camera and search for interesting shapes, organisms, lighting situations, and colors. Share your ideas with other nature enthusiasts!  Hike 2 miles over steep and uneven terrain (400-ft. elevation gain).
Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. 18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Parking: $3 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2235
Special Instructions:  Ages 12 and up. Online reservations required, sign-up online: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5-miles south of I-5/405). For questions, call (949) 497-8324.

August 2, 9, 16, 23, 29 – Nature Walk 
9 – 10:30 a.m.
Join our Naturalists on a nature walk and learn about Trabuco Canyon animals and nature. Light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads. Meet at the Nature Center just inside the main entrance of the park.
Location: O’Neill Regional Park. 30982 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678
Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2260
Special Instructions: All ages welcome. Event is conditional on the weather.

August 2, 30 – Bats of Orange County
7:15 – 8:30 p.m.
Join Park Ranger Brad Barker at Laguna Niguel Regional Park on Saturday, August 2 as we learn about those mysterious creatures of the night - bats! Ranger Barker will lead a 45-minute presentation about bats that can be found in Orange County. After the presentation, join us for a 30-minute walk to the nearby lake as we look for bats and listen for their echolocation using a bat detector.
Location: Laguna Niguel Regional Park.
28241 La Paz Rd., Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 
Website: http://www.ocparks.com/lagunaniguelpark/
Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2240
Special Instructions: Meet at the amphitheater. Come early to look at a bat skeleton and skull.

August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – Ranger Led Campfire Program
8 – 9 p.m.
Join us Saturday night at the amphitheater for this Ranger led talk on local animal life, set to the glow of fire light. This event is only open to those camping at O’Neill Regional Park. No access for day use after sunset.
Location: O’Neill Regional Park. 30982 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678
Cost: Free
Contact: (949) 923-2260 or (949) 923-2256
Special Instructions: All ages welcome. Event is outdoors and dependent on weather conditions. 

August 2, 9, 16, 30 – Campfire Program
8 – 9 p.m.
Every Saturday night, join us for a campfire program that may include a slide presentation, wilderness safety, games and activities for children, animal adaptations, skins and skulls, a live animal demonstration and a chance to visit the Nature Center. Topics may vary weekly.
Location: Caspers Wilderness Park. 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2210
Special Instructions: All ages welcome!

August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 – Nature Hike
8 – 9 a.m.
Join our Park Rangers Sunday mornings for an easy 1-mile hike on the Nature Trail. The trail takes visitors through grassland, oak woodland, riparian and sandy cactus scrub communities. Meet at Old Corral Day Use area. Rain will cancel hike. 
Location: Caspers Wilderness Park.  33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2210
Special Instructions: Wear comfortable clothing and hiking shoes. Sunscreen, water and insect repellent are recommended. For additional information, please call the park at (949) 923-2210.

August 5, 12, 19, 26 – Scout Programs
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tiger Club Discover Nature Program (1st Grade), Wolf Cub Outdoor Adventure (2nd grade), Bear Cub Wildlife Wander (3rdgrade), Webelos Forester Badge Program (4th & 5th grade), Webelos Geologist Badge Program (4th & 5th grade), Webelos Naturalist Badge Program (4th & 5th grade)
Location: Mason Regional Park. 18712 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
Cost: No fee, Scout Leader provides badges.
Contact: (949) 923-2230
Special Instructions: For more information, call Candi Hubert at (949) 923-2222.

August 5, 9, 19, 23 – Modjeska House Tour 
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Docent-led tour of the historic house and grounds.
Location: 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630-2534
Contact: (949) 923–2230
Cost: $5 per person
Special Instructions: Advance reservations required, call (949) 923-2230. Directions provided with reservations. 

August 6 – Animated Animals with the Chuck Jones Center
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Learn to draw an animal with a Chuck Jones Center artist and meet an animal up close! Learn more about the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Warner Bros. animation at www.chuckjonescenter.org.
Location: Orange County Zoo. 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
Website: http://www.ocparks.com/oczoo/
Cost: $10 per child (parent observer - $2 admission fee) Parking: $3 per vehicle
Contact: (714) 973-6846
Special Instructions: PHONE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Call Marcy Crede-Booth, Education Coordinator at (714) 973-6846. For ages 9 to 16 years old.

August 7, 28 – Fitness Hike at Little Sycamore
8:30 – 11 a.m.
Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this difficult, strenuous and fast-paced, 4.8-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain) over very steep, uneven terrain with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  
Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. 18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Cost: $2 donation per person Parking: $3 per vehicle
Contact: (949) 923-2235
Special Instructions:  Ages 15 and up. Online reservations required, sign-up online: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. Not for beginners. Hiking poles suggested. Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5-miles south of I-5/405). For questions, call (949) 497-8324.

August 7, 14, 21, 28 – Tideland Tykes
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Join our preserve staff for a fun-filled parent and child experience that may include arts and crafts, story telling, hands-on activities or outdoor nature walks. Come prepared for an exciting outdoor experience!
Location: Upper Newport Bay. 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Cost: $5 per student Parking: Free
Contact: (949) 923-2290
Special Instructions: Ages 2 to 8 years recommended. Space is limited and registration is required. Please call (949) 923-2275, or email unbic@ocparks.com to register.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 OC Parks Annual Parking Passes 50% Off August 1

2014 OC PARKS ANNUAL PARKING PASSES 50% OFF AUGuST 1

(Orange County, Calif.) –OC Parks is pleased to announce that 2014 annual parking passes will be available for 50% off of the full price beginning August 1. Spend time in the outdoors with family and friends at a discounted rate.

OC Parks annual parking passes and decals offer convenient parking at local regional and wilderness parks, as well as all County beach parks. Experience hiking, mountain biking, exploring, surfing or rest and relaxation in nature with convenient pre-paid parking at all locations. An OC Parks parking pass makes a great gift for the outdoor and adventurous friends and family members in your life.

The annual regional and wilderness parking passes and parking decals, as well as the annual beach parking decals, will be available for just $27.50, regularly priced at $55, and $17.50 for disabled with placard and seniors 60 years of age and above, regularly priced at $35. Disabled with placard already park free at County beach parks.

For the best value, purchase a combination-parking pass to enjoy all OC Parks and beaches for just $40, regularly priced at $80, and just $25 for seniors, regularly priced at $50.

Annual parking passes and decals are available for purchase at an OC Parks facility near you. Visit OC Parks online at http://ocparks.com/about/fees/pass for more information and a list of convenient locations. Spend some time in the great outdoors with family, friends and OC Parks in 2014.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guided Hike at the Ferber Ranch Wilderness Preserve

The Orange County Transportation Authority is having a Wilderness Preserve Guided Hike at the Ferber Ranch Wilderness Preserve in Trabuco Canyon on August 9, 2014. The Ferber Ranch Wilderness Preserve is a wilderness preserve set-a-side purchased with Measure M2's tax money. For those that do not known, Orange County voters in 2006 voted for an extension of the temporary half cent Orange County sales tax until 2041. The Ferber Ranch property is a 399-acre parcel located northwest of the City of Rancho Santa Margarita in Trabuco Canyon. Access to the property is from Trabuco Oak Road and Rose Canyon Road. The property features rolling terrain with elevations ranging from 1,120 - 1,650 feet above mean sea level. For more information on this property and the Measure M environmental mitigation program click Here



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Into the Wild 5K Rockin' Summer Runs Return to Irvine Regional Park

INTO THE WILD 5K ROCKIN’ SUMMER RUNS RETURN TO IRVINE REGIONAL PARK IN JULY

OC ZOO OFFERS FREE ADMISSION AFTER HOURS

(Orange, Calif.) – OC Parks and Into the Wild OC Trail Run are pleased to present the annual 5k Rockin’ Summer Runs in conjunction with the OC Parks Summer Concert Series at Irvine Regional Park in Orange on Thursday, July 24 and Thursday, July 31. The OC Zoo will remain open after regular business hours and offer free admission from 3:30 – 6 p.m. on both dates.

Two high-energy 5k races will introduce outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to the exciting world of short-distance trail racing with single-loop courses designed for the beginning trail runner or advanced street racer. Check in for each race begins at 4:45 p.m. and the races kick off at 5:45 p.m.

After each race, participants will be treated to a free outdoor concert in the park as part of the annual OC Parks Summer Concert Series. July 24 presents Suburban Legends with Papafish and July 31welcomes GOGO13 with The Hawkline Monster. The concerts take place from 6 - 8 p.m.

Runners, concertgoers and park attendees have the opportunity to visit the OC Zoo after regular business hours for free on July 24 and July 31 from 3:30 – 6 p.m.

Into the Wild OC Trail Run provides the community with numerous outdoor runs throughout OC Parks public and private properties spanning Orange County. For more information and to register for the 5k Rockin’ Summer Runs visit http://intothewildoctrailrun.com.