Santiago Peak in the Santa Ana mountains is a go-to spot for some low altitude mountain running. 17 miles and 4,700' of gain always makes for a great training run.

Dry Santiago

4/5/15  First trip back to Santiago in a while, and it was the driest I had ever seen it. A sad display of the effects of the drought, but still a great day on the trail! I made it to the top in 2:10, and round-trip (including the waterfall detour) in 4 hours.

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Fall Snow on Santiago

11/06/11  Another trip up to Santiago Peak with Dr. Rock, this time in the Fall. There was a chance of rain for the day, which ended-up meaning freezing cold temperatures and snowfall on the summit.

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Spring Santiago

4/17/11  A spring training run up to Santiago Peak via Holy Jim five days after doing Cactus to Clouds. By far the most water on Holy Jim of all my trips there, but the gnat swarm on the summit was out of control!

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Snowy Santiago

3/11/11  A rare chance to be in snow on top of local Santiago Peak. I had to take advantage of the opportunity! A spontaneous change of plans meant I ended-up having to take the Joplin trail to the top rather than Holy Jim. Over 24 miles and almost 6000' of total elevation gain. A grueling day, but well worth it in the end.

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Santiago in the Fall

11/14/10  Another great run to the top of Santiago Peak, including the waterfall detour. 17 miles and 4700' of total elevation gain. Less water than usual on the Holy Jim trail, but still gorgeous.This time there was no marine layer shrouding the horizon, so the view from the top was amazing. Crystal clear ocean views from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

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Santiago and Modjeska

05/25/10  Both peaks in the saddle of the Saddleback Mountains in one day. Almost 21 miles, 5600' of total elevation gain, another great trail running trip. This time, my Dad joined me to hike Santiago Peak as I ran Santiago & Modjeska. We were only about an hour apart from syncing up at the bottom.

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Santiago Peak II

05/01/10  Beautiful spring conditions for a 16.5 mile trail run to the top of Santiago Peak. 4400' of elevation gain, 2.5 hours to the top, 1.25 hours down, made pretty good time. Still unquestionably the best trail in Orange County if you can survive the off-roading to get there. I had company (Dr. Rock) this time around, which definitely makes the run mentally easier.

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Santiago Peak

05/30/09  My first trail run outside of the usual spots, and my first time experiencing the light off-roading required to get to the traihead via Trabuco Creek "road". It was a fairly last-minute, spontaneous trip and I was only planing to go to the top of Holy Jim, but somehow I ended-up going all the way to the top.

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