A few weeks ago the Orange County Trail Runners scheduled a roughly 20mi run that would go through O'Neill Park, Whiting Ranch, across Santiago Highway and on Saddleback Truck Trail which runs along some of the smaller Santiago mountains, smaller at least compared to Santiago Peak, which is in the same range. I have no idea why it is called the Saddleback Truck Trail. It was never wider than 4-5 feet and often just a foot wide. The run would wind back up in O'Neill Park. It is an 18-20mi run depending on where you start.
That run got cancelled, but I decided to do it anyway. My house is just two miles from where the big loop would have taken us so I ran to that trail head and headed off. It was a good run, but I was especially happy with one particular section about 13mi into the run called The Luge. The altitude is about 2,100ft at the start and 1,450ft at the base, which is almost exactly one mile away. The grade is just enough that you can run some segments at full tilt. It is more like a controlled fall than running.
I decided to run it again this weekend, this time with my son's GoPro 2 camera. I purchased the chest mount harness to hold it. I was surprised that for the entire distance, the extra weight never bothered me. The camera is really light.
As you can see from the video, much of the Luge is on the edge of the mountain with just a few inches of weeds on the right marking the edge of the trail. You do not want to go over the edge.
If you want to jump to the Luge, hit the above video at about 50sec. I recorded some of the other trails I ran on to get to the Luge. Sorry for my hands being in the way, but the wide angle of the GoPro 2 I was using captured everything. I recorded in 4:3 aspect ratio to maximize the vertical height that was captured.
If you enjoy trail running and have the opportunity to run in Orange County, this is a trail you must hit.