Laurel Springs Xerox Mountaineering & Backpacking Club

at Modjeska Peak, Santa Ana Mountains Saturday, 25 February 1989

Brief: moderate, 10 mile roundtrip, 2300 feet elevation gain.

What: This should be a pleasant dayhike with good views of the Santiago and Modjeska Peaks (Saddleback). If it’s a clear day you can also view the rural areas of Orange County. Laurel Springs (3,456’ elevation) is the halfway point from the trailhead to Modjeska Peak (5,496’ elevation).

Where: Harding trail 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 addition to the dayhike. This area was settled by a group of Polish immigrants, the most notable of whom was Madame Modjeska, a famous 1890’s stage actress. The area is wedged in a canyon that was later occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Tucker, who donated the 12 acres for the Sanctuary which is now run by volunteers from Cal State Fullerton. They ask for a $1.50 donation which is well worth it, for more information call (714)649-2760. Inside the animal museum is a small but good selection of nature books, postcards, T-shirts and sweatshirts. They also have a small exhibit of local animals, the most popular is a opossum that can be petted and played with.

When: Saturday, 2/25. Meet at 9:00 am. It’s roughly an hour drive from El Segundo (appoximately 40 miles). Parking is at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. We’ll meet either near the cars or inside the Sanctuary building. We’ll eat lunch at Laurel Springs, look around a while then head back down. The trail is a little rough because of the rainfall, lots of ruts but it is still easy to follow and it is used as a fire road by the National Forest Service. We should be back at the trailhead around 3:00.

Who: This is a fairly easy hike and the only reason I would place it as moderate is because of the 2300 feet elevation gain in the 4.5 mile hike to the spring. The pace will be slow so I would recommend this 10 mile roundtrip for just about everyone. Dogs are permitted on the truck trails.

Warning: Lots of Poison Oak on the sides of the trail, so be cautious if you wander off the trail.

Bring: Lunch, water, sunglasses, camera, and the remainder of the 10 essentials. Boots or tennis shoes are fine. It may be cold so a warm jacket or windbreaker is recommended. There are toilets at the Sanctuary but after that it’s bushes.

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 to the Sanctuary is two miles. Once you’re on Modjeska Canyon you will come to a fork veer to the right the next fork, veer to the left (they are within 2/10’s of a mile). The Sanctuary will be 1/2 mile 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>.

File:Laurel Springs-8902