James Dilley Preserve Combo
ElevationAscent: 540' 165 m
Descent: -540' -165 m
High: 607' 185 m
Low: 313' 95 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
Popular runs nearby
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14.5 mi 23.4 km • Loop • 1,074 ft Ascent 327.5 m Ascent
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“A fun combination of trails in the James Dilley Preserve.”— Erwin Chang
This spot has views of the canyon in all directions, but skip it because you'll come back to it later. Ridge Top Trail will comes to the junction of Gravel Trail and Edison Trail and take the right fork again to stay on Edison Trail. I can only assume it's named that for all the electricity towers spotted along the path.
There are some fake paths that are for utility maintenance of the towers only that may confuse you on the trail, but they're pretty well marked so you can avoid those. Edison wraps along Barbara's Lake, and you'll be running alongside the lake with some tree cover and sights of ducks.
Once the lake ends, start on Barbara's Lake Trail - this part was probably one of the longer straights with less to see while going along side the 133 freeway/toll road. You can continue on Barbara's Lake Trail to the parking lot, or continue on to see the inner canyon by taking a left at the Sunflower Trail Junction.
Sunflower Trail has a decent incline and eventually hits Mariposa Trail. Take a left at the Mariposa Trail junction, and eventually you get back to that large-ish circular "plateau". Once at the "plateau" you'll find the start of the Canyon Trail alongside the south side of the circle and head down it.
Canyon Trail has a lot of loose rocks, so take care when descending. Once it levels off, you'll be in the bottom of the canyon - it's probably a little longer than the Lake Trail, but a little more interesting. You'll soon come across familiar surroundings as you'll exit out back at the parking lot.
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Land Manager: OC Parks - Laguna Coast Wilderness Park