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.
The Most Comfortable Hiking Shoe Ever
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (Women: REI | Amazon + Men: REI | Amazon) is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they work great on the trail. It’s a favorite of PCT and AT hikers for a good reason!
Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
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 Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.
Gaia GPS Mapping App
Smartphones are not backcountry instruments, but almost everyone has one today. And they all have GPS onboard. So I recommend getting a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps. Just make sure to put your phone in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. GaiaGPS not only has smartphone and tablet apps, but also an online planning tool. You can drag the GPX hike tracks from my (or any) guides into the online map and they will sync to your phone. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get up to 40% off here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated February 2021.
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
How are you going to navigate this hike?
To start, you should always have a paper map and compass. And it helps to print this guide out or save it on your phone. I highly recommend a GPS as well. I use the Garmin Fenix 6 Smart GPS watch ( REI | Amazon | My Review) with maps (or the more affordable Garmin Instinct). The GPS smartwatch is nice because it’s rugged, works if your phone dies, and also has a billion other features like sleep tracking, workout recording, etc.
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.
This guide last updated on October 16, 2020. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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