Santiago Canyon Road

Connecting Orange to Mission Viejo, Santiago Canyon Road will take you past Irvine Lake, Red Rock Canyon, Whiting Ranch, Limestone Canyon Wilderness Preserve Blackstar Canyon, and two unincorporated towns known as Silverado Canyon and Modjeska Canyon which also both have beautiful drives through them. Santiago Canyon Road changes its name to Chapman Avenue in Orange Hills and to El Toro in Mission Viejo. From the 55 freeway, exit Chapman and go East until it turns into Chapman Avenue. From the 5 freeway, exit El Toro and head Northeast into Mission Viejo, after several miles, it will turn into Santiago Canyon Road. The road passes by the backside of Whiting Ranch where you can park near a small gate with no sign and hike through there and into Red Rock Canyon. You could previously stop and fish at Irvine Lake until it indefinitely shut down in March 2016 after The Irvine Company donated the land to the county and cause the shut down of the lake, you can still see the lake from an ovelook on the haul road just to the East of the lakes former entrance. Blackstar Canyon is a great spot for hiking and local folklore where you may hear stories of it being haunted, the trail will take you to a spectacular waterfall which only flows after rain, to Beeks Place, and to an old Indian homestead site. Santiago Canyon road through the less traveled section of Orange County is very scenic and relaxing but can be dangerous, it is slightly windy, please obey posted speed limits and wear your seatbelt. Have a great drive!

  • Sunset over Orange Hills
  • Sunset over Orange Hills