Tucked into Silverado Canyon, the trail to Bedford Peak isn't the first place people think of when planning to hike in Orange County. But it is one of the hidden gems.
There is limited parking at the end of a dead-end road, but there are a few additional spots available at the side of the road. Follow the broken paved road for a couple of minutes and and you will find the trail on the left. The trail begins with a gradual, comfortable grade. The view of Social Mountain opens up right away, and you can see the Bedford Peak summit and Santiago Peak in the distance. The singletrack is pleasant, but it isn't wide, so watch out for mountain bikers around any sharp corners.
The weather is cool and nice in the fall, but the trail can be really hot during the summer due to the lack of shade. There are no water sources on the trail, so make sure you bring adequate water with you.
The trail keeps going up until it meets with Main Divide Road, which is marked with a gate. Go around the gate and follow the road for about a quarter of a mile, and the summit will be just around the corner. It is not a huge and visible summit, so it's easily missed, but you can see a steep small trail going to the summit ridge. It can be pretty windy and cold up there.
Take time to enjoy the view and maybe have lunch at the summit that provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. After that, follow the same trail back down.