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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Video: San Juan Capistrano and Caspers Wilderness Park

Although this is an older video, it takes a very artistic view at downtown San Juan Capistrano, including the Mission, and nearby Caspers Wilderness Park:

A Topographical View of Planning Area 2

Google Maps has a cool new feature where you can tilt the map and get a topographical view of an area. We decided to have some fun and lay the boundaries for Planning Area 2 over a topographical map of the region. Below is the result — note the boundaries aren’t perfect. We were just [...]

Register Article on the Rise in Mountain Lion Deaths in Orange County

The unfortunate recent encounter between a mountain lion and a family hiking in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park has heightened concerns about the survival of these big cats and the tragic consequences of human encroachment. The Register is reporting an alarming rise in the number of mountain lions who have died at human hands, including vehicle [...]

Horseback Group Visits Mission San Juan Capistrano

Make sure to read this article at the San Juan Capistrano Patch. It’s a neat story about a group that set out to visit all 21 of California’s missions by horseback. The group recently arrived in San Juan Capistrano and will be staying at Caspers Wilderness Park until they set off to the south towards [...]

OCR Article: Ranch Plan Creates South County Mountain to Sea Trail

The Orange County Register has published an article titled “Ranch development creates South County’s first mountain to sea trail” describing some of the trail linkages that are coming as a result of the Rancho Mission Viejo development. We’ve previously written about opening a Rancho Mission Viejo trail system and how the Ranch Plan promises new [...]

Rancho Carrillo: Embodying the Essence of Community in Orange County

Eight miles east of San Juan Capistrano, one might be forgiven for thinking that civilization ended at the curb of Ortega Highway. Caspers Wilderness Park extends to the north, with Cleveland National Forest beyond. Yet, as you drive past a non-descript pair of stone columns and low-slung iron gate on your right, you would be [...]

Open Space: You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Part of Rancho Mission Viejo’s media strategy is to place “suggested posts” (Facebook-speak for ads) in the newsfeeds of potential buyers. The ad uses pictures of a green orchard, a field of wild poppies or a shaded path lined by majestic oak trees and invites viewers to:

“Like” this if you like open space.

As [...]

The Ranch Plan Promises New Trails and Bikeways

As you may know, Orange County has a “General Plan” that describes its long-term goals for growth and development. The General Plan is comprehensive in that it covers seven core aspects of County life: land use, transportation, housing, conservation, open space, noise and safety. Today, we are going to look at the impact of the [...]

Rancho Mission Viejo Presentation to OC Supervisors Provides Some Clues to the Status and Features of Sendero

We recently found a presentation that Rancho Mission Viejo Company gave to the Orange County Board of Supervisors on or around July 13, 2012 regarding progress on the Ranch Plan, and specifically, Sendero. The full presentation (in PDF format) is available here. And a companion video is available here. We’ve summarized some of the highlights [...]

Caspers Wilderness Park Trail Map and Photos

We love Caspers Wilderness Park, and we think it’s one of the best things about living in South Orange County. For your convenience, we’ve added the Caspers Trail Map to our Documents tab on the right sidebar. You can also access a nice photo set on Flickr here.

Trailhead at Caspers Wilderness Park