Distance: 7.8 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 912' (LC2), 1013' (Moro)
Elevation Gain: 1300'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 1.04
Round trip time: 2 hours
Recommended water: 32 oz.
Parking/Fees: $3 OC Parks
I thought I had exhausted all the OC peaklets in the San Joaquin Hills, at least ones with benchmarks, but a scan of the peakbagger map showed otherwise. Patrick Vaughn added Moro Ridge Benchmark to the database this year, marked on the topo with an X at 1013'. I planned a jog along Bommer Ridge to get it, and to check out another X at 912' near the south end of the ridge. Neither of these marks appear in the downloadable OC Geodetic Survey.
I parked at the Big Bend staging area on Laguna Canyon Road. The parking lot has a portable restroom and plenty of parking. I packed light: two bottles of water, a couple of bandaids, and regular running shoes. I started south, planning to use Laguna Ridge trail. However, it was closed for some reason so I turned right up the Big Bend trail. Most of the gain comes in three sections of this trail before it hits Bommer Ridge. Once on the ridge, I turned left (south) and started jogging toward the first peaklet at 912'. The ridge is wide, smooth, and mostly rock free. Easy going for both people and bikes. It was a quick trip to 912' where I found an OC benchmark stamped "LC2", presumably Laguna Canyon 2. The area looked like it had undergone a controlled burn. Without delay, I headed back north along the ridge. I got distracted and climbed the bump at the turn which had nothing newsworthy. I got back on the ridge and jogged to the junction with the Willow trail. I hiked up to the Moro Canyon gate, then down Moro Canyon trail. I thought I might have to leave the trail to get to the top, but I saw a couple of mountain bikers on top and knew they didn't ride through any brush. About a quarter mile down the trail, the summit trail climbs up to the right. There I found the benchmark stamped "Moro" sticking well above ground, most of it still encased in concrete. I took a break to enjoy the view and exchange greetings with the bikers. Two more peaklets bagged, I returned to the car, jogging the flats and downhills on the way back. I'll never set any speed records, but going lighter and faster was fun on easy terrain.