Weir Canyon Loop Trail Hike
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance||3.8 miles (6.1 km)|
|Other Options||1.5 miles or 2.5 miles|
|Hike Time||1:30 - 2:30 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||830 feet (253m)|
|Highest Elevation||1,250 feet (381m)|
|Fees & Permits||None|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Santiago Oaks Regional Park|
The Weir Canyon Loop Trail hike is tucked into Orange County suburbia, but once you step onto the trail, you will feel like you are miles away. This scenic loop trail in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains is packed with scenery. It offers stunning panoramic views reaching to the high mountains, easy to follow trails, winding canyon paths, and lots of wildflower and wildlife viewing. The full hike is 3.8 miles but you can do it with 1.5 or 2.5 mile options too. It’s a great hike for families and those just wanting an outdoor fix without traveling far.
Getting to Weir Canyon Trail
There are a few different access points to the Weir Canyon Trail, and the trailhead I have listed below is the most common start and stop of the hike, so we’ll go with that. The street parking is free, but it is a residential neighborhood, so please don’t block driveways and be respectful of the residents.
Use this trailhead address:
1000 E Overlook Terrace, Anaheim, CA, 92807
There are no bathrooms at the trailhead or on the hike.
Gear For the Hike
This is a straightforward hike on wide trails, but there are some ups and downs. If you have hiking shoes or boots, they will help, as will trekking poles. But plenty of people do the hike in fitness gear and you can too. In the summer it gets really hot here, and there is no tree cover. Bring at least 1L of water.
I try a lot of hiking boots and shoes, and there are some great options out there, but the La Sportiva Spire is the best combination of comfort, protection, low-weight, and durability. They are waterproof, and the high cuff keeps debris out without the need for a gaiter. Time tested over thousands of miles. Use them with a two-layer sock system to end blisters for good.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
On a medium or longer hike I recommend a pack like the Osprey Talon 33 (men) or Osprey Sirrus 36 (women) which is a little bit larger. These packs are on the upper end of the (35L) daypack range, but they only weigh a small fraction more than a pack with less capacity. Having the extra space gives you more flexibility and means you don’t have to jam things in there. I use the space for things like extra layers in the winter, extra water on desert hikes, and even a tent & sleeping bag on overnights.
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated September 2020.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Weir Canyon Trail Maps
The Weir Canyon Trail, part of Santiago Oaks Regional Park, is well marked on the entire route. The trail is wide and easy to follow, but there are quite a number of unofficial side trails that you won’t take on this hike except for one exception (see the directions below). When in doubt, stay on the wider path.
Download the Hike GPX FileView a Printable PDF Hike Map
Your best move to navigate this hike is to take a paper map, compass, and a GPS device. Load the GPX track from this hike onto your GPS to ensure that you’re on the trail. I’m a big fan of GPS watches; I just glance down at it to cross-check my position and use paper when I want a deeper dive. The GPS watch that I’m using now is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (price: REI or Amazon). It’s pricey but has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of other wellness, fitness, and smart-watch applications. For a more affordable option, check out the value-packed Garmin Instinct (price: REI or Amazon), a similar watch without some of the features. There are also great smartphone GPS apps like GaiaGPS. If you end up getting GaiaGPS premium, I’ve arranged for a 20-40% discount for my readers.
The trail is also used by mountain bikes and horses, so be aware.
- The best time to do this hike is in the winter or spring when the landscape is lush and green. It feels more like Ireland than it does Disneyland.
- In the spring there are lots of wildflowers, including orange (and popular) California poppy. Please stay on the trail and don’t pick the flowers.
- If you do the hike during warmer times, leave at sunrise to beat the heat and crowds.
- The legendary “Robin Hood of the West,” Joaquin Murrieta, allegedly frequented these hills with his bandit gang in the late 1800s. The hill just south of this hike is called Robbers Peak and was named that because Murrieta used it as a lookout. A favorite target of the bandits was the Butterfield Stagecoach which passed through Weir Canyon. The character Zorro was based on Joaquin Murrieta.
- You may see references to Weir Canyon Wilderness Park. The Weir Canyon area on this hike used to be its own park before it was incorporated into Santiago Oaks Regional Park in 2008.
- In 2017 this area was devastated in the Canyon 2 Fire. Weir Canyon is a historical fire corridor and the 2017 fire wasn’t the first.
Weir Canyon Trail Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
If you want to do the short 1.5 mile version of the hike, just turn around and go back the way you came from here.
If you want to do the 2.5 mile hike, make the right onto the Deerweed Trail at the last junction, hike downhill, and pick up the directions later.
If you did the 2.5 mile version, you’ll pick up the directions here after going down the hill.
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.