Xerox Mountaineering & Backpacking Club

Harding Canyon Creek/Waterfalls at Modjeska Peak, Santa Ana Mountains

Saturday, 18 March 1989

Brief: Easy to Moderate, 7 mile roundtrip, 700 feet elevation gain.

What: This should be a pleasant dayhike weaving back into the canyon along side the Harding creek. You will be exposed to many different types of trees, flowers and other greenery along the hike. This area does not get alot of direct sunlight so it is very plush and green.

Where: Harding canyon is located on the western side of the Santa Ana Mountains and it’s fairly close to Irvine Lake. If you have never been in the area then you are in for a treat. This is part of Orange County that is still undeveloped. The drive along Santiago Canyon Road is worth the time and the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is a nice pre-hike or post-hike attraction.

When: Saturday, 3/18. Meet at 9:00 am. It’s roughly an hour drive from El Segundo (appoximately 55 miles). Parking is at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, the parking is limited so get there before 9:00 or you may find yourself having a pre-hike to the trailhead. We’ll meet either near the cars or inside the Sanctuary building. We’ll eat lunch at the waterfalls, look around a while then head back down. The trail is not a well defined it is narrow and we will cross the creek several times during the hike. It can be cool in spots but for the most part it should be fairly warm. Once we get to the falls we can take a dip in the pools and enjoy the sunshine or do some investigating of the local area. We should return to the cars by 3:00.

Who: This hike is at the easy end of the moderate category. For those who were on the Laurel Springs hike last month, this hike is in the bottom of the adjacent canyon (to the east) and is much easier, with about a third the elevation gain. The pace will be slow so I would recommend this 7 mile roundtrip for just about everyone; however, people considering bringing children under age 10 should first contact the leader. Dogs are permitted on the trails but they will be wet by the end of the hlke.

Warning: Lots of Poison Oak on the sides of the trail; I recommend wearing long pants back to the waterfalls.

Bring: Lunch, water, sunglasses, camera, and the remainder of the 10 essentials. Boots or tennis shoes are fine. It may be cool so a warm jacket or windbreaker is recommended. Wear long pants and if you want to play in water at the falls wear or bring a suit. There are toilets at the Sanctuary but after that it’s bushes. Make sure you bring a dry set of clothing to change into if needed.

Weather: If it looks like it’s going to be stormy or wet, we’ll cancel. If it gets too windy or cold, we’ll quit early. If you have doubts about the weather, give Beth or Jack a call Friday or Saturday morning before 7 am.

Car Pooling: Call either Beth or Jack to make arrangements.

Topo Map: Santiago Peak Quadrangle, California, 7.5 minute series.

Directions: Follow the 91 Freeway (Riverside Freeway) East to the 55 Freeway (Costa Mesa) South. Take the Katella off ramp, at the bottom of the ramp turn left. Katella turns in to Villa Park, which in turn changes to Santiago Canyon Road. You will stay on Santiago Canyon Road (S18) past Irvine Lake till you reach the turnoff for Modjeska Canyon Road (approximately 15 miles from the 55). The turnoff sign which is on the right says Modjeska Canyon - Wildlife Sanctuary. From the turn off, the Sanctuary is two miles. Once you’re on Modjeska Canyon you will come to a fork, veer to the right, then at the next fork, veer to the left (they are within 2/10’s of a mile). The Sanctuary will be 1-1½ miles on your left and the parking will be on the right.

Questions? Call: Beth Epperson - work: (213)333-2504 or Jack Cook - work: (213)533-5214 or home: (213)371-2706. e-Mail: <BEppe:ES XC15> or <JCook:El Segundo>.

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