Panorama Trail from The Summit House Restaurant parking lot is the easiest way to get to a spectacular view of a cityscape. That’s East Coyote Hills Golf Course in the foreground.
On the map Panorama Trail appears to go from Summit Restaurant on State College to Golden Hill Little League on Brea Blvd. That’s on the map. Turns out, the little league parking lot is rarely available and thus not at all a good terminus. The trail goes right on by and the only place to consider the end of Panorama Trail is Trail Rest Park at Ashford Terrace, described later as a potential park. Most of Panorama trail is a rock strewn path which is less prone to rain-caused ruts, but not comfortable for walking. Half of the trail is in the space between back yards and a golf course. As the path gets higher in the hills, the trail is along a street but still of rocks. It’s a very unusual housing tract that has gravel for sidewalks in front of some very expensive homes. Several are celebrity kind of homes.
Out and Back Hikes from the Middle of Panorama Trail
There is excellent parking at Valwood Drive. From Brea Blvd, (just north of Lemon) take Longview Drive right one short block then left on Valwood Drive. Take Valwood to its end. 33 53 31.7019 -117 54 45.8459 There’s lots of parking that won’t disturb the neighbors. What follows are descriptions of the two direction you can go from there on the Panorama Trail.
- Go right (east) 2.4 miles
Going right along the Panorama Trail the goal is the Summit Restaurant; 2.4 miles, out and back total. You will be going uphill almost from the start. About where it is steepest, the trail becomes a kind of gravel sidewalk. When you get to a decision, choose the direction that takes you more uphill. (There is an interesting left-over piece of real estate where Skyline turns into Ladera Vista. It is a mound of dirt with a view south that the home owners association maintains.) A few hundred feet further on the trail becomes dirt (finally) as it goes through a gate that is a kind an official entrance. (It is unlikely that you will arrive this early, but the gate is locked at night and opens at 6:30 AM.) Walk about 1,000 feet further to two very prominent peaks which are the highest points in Fullerton. They have impressive views particularly of the golf course and Los Angeles on a clear day. The impressive views are spoiled by trees that have grown up with the aid of irrigation. You can’t see east or north east. Fullerton has be designated a Tree City. One reason is that 4,000 trees were planted and pipes put in to water them as a part of a WPA program in 1930. The almost 90 year tradition has made cutting down trees a sacrilege. Hence the dilemma here with the beautiful threes that block a beautiful view. Continuing east you will reach your goal, the parking lot of the Summit House Restaurant.
Going left (west) 2.5 miles
Going left from where you parked on Valwood Drive along Panorama Trail your goal is Coyote Hills Horse Ranch; 2.5 miles, out and back total. The trail is still that uncomfortable rock but is easy to follow. You will get very close to the golf course, then pass the Little League Ball Park. You will then be able to choose either a concrete or dirt sidewalk alongside Brea Blvd. Walk a thousand feet north and then cross Brea Blvd at Ashburn Terrace. (When you left the Little League Park, you were actually be on a different trail: East Coyote Hills Trail.)
On the west side of Brea Blvd there is a very welcoming beginning of another trail; Lost Trail. (Off to the left as you begin this new trail is what will someday be a small park. It is labeled on the map as Trail Rest Park.) You will proceed downhill past the potential park then down into the flood control basin. The dirt trail on west side of Brea Blvd is Lost Trail. Notice how wide the trail is here; 15 feet. The trail gets more normal when it levels out at the intersection of the concrete trail from the Fullerton Sports Complex. Keep going. You destination is the horse ranch which you will see up and to the left about a 100 yards beyond the Sports Complex sidewalk. Once you see it, it will be obvious how to get there. For more on the horse ranch see the notes in the webpage Lost Trail. (On Saturday mornings (11:00 AM) there is something to watch there.)
Large Loop (2.8 mi)
The Panorama Trail, at its two ends joins the East Coyote Hills Trail at “its” two ends making it a 2.8 mile loop. This is described in more detail here: “East Coyote Hills Trail.” Notice that the loop is not much bigger than each of the out and back trips described here.
Click on a picture to see it full screen . . .
Suggestions for Parks Department
At the geo-location; 33 53 32.8692 -117 54 23.5711 is a rut in a trail caused by water during a rain. They are all over the place of course but this one is of reasonable size for boy-scout merit badge project. The goal is to engineer a way so it doesn’t return during the the next rain. This would be especially valuable to them if you let the Boy Scout define the extent and method of the repair and then budget the hours to do it in. He would then be managing the project as well as providing labor for it. Whether to do a lot or little being up to him, is as much a learning experience as the planning or doing of it.
There’s a single trashcan on the Nora Kuttner. It’s half way along and it works out quite well for those that like to pick up trash and know it’s there. So you can put a trashcan in the middle of the Panorama too: In this case, at the end of Valwood: 33 53 31.7019 -117 54 45.8459 where it would be handy for Parks to get at the trashcan for emptying.
It would be nice if there was a steak-sign that says next trashcan ß .4 mi and another that says à .8 mi. Indicating where the next one is, would encourage seniors who like to clear the trail of litter. The burden of carrying is worse than the actual picking up. It is less of a burden, if they knew there was a trashcan at the end, or wherever.