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Baker Ranch Community Park in Lake Forest: Long Slides and Big Climbs

Baker Ranch Community Park in Lake Forest: Long Slides and Big Climbs

Baker Ranch Community Park in Lake Forest can make adults feel like kids going down a tunnel slide and provides new play opportunities for little ones. It opened in the new community of Baker Ranch on May 28, 2014.

green astroturf hill topped with what looks like a treehouse playground and an enormous beige tunnel slide coming off the tower

How to Get to Baker Ranch Community Park in Lake Forest: From Interstate 405, take Bake Parkway towards the foothills and Lake Forest. You’ll drive quite a few miles past Trabuco and turn left on Dimension Drive where the big Baker Ranch neighborhood sign sits.  You’ll bear to the right at the roundabout and head towards the sign pointing to Catalina. The park is past “The Grove” on your right. (Address: 26380 Rancho Parkway) MAP TO BAKER RANCH COMMUNITY PARK IN LAKE FOREST

view of Baker Ranch Community Park from the top of the play structure near with the ocean visible in the distance and a large climbable rock on the playground

Highlights:

It feels big. Adults look small standing around it. Also feels much “greener” than most playground areas – and the sycamores should provide shade when they grow.

Ah, the tunnel slide! It’s pretty long and awesome.  Kids have to be brave enough to climb a ladder to the “tower” that leads to the slide entrance. The ladder has a fireman’s pole behind it, which kind of sandwiches you in as you climb. (I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing).

Climbing rock with arch that is even fun for older kids.

Bouncy green turf playground surfacing under the slide, rock, and on the hill (prevents kids slipping on the usual rubber play surface!).

A little interactive puppet show area on the small equipment.

Other unusual play features:

  • telephone pole climber with handholds,
  • lots of steering wheels for imaginative play,
  • interactive board with map of ranchos,
  • bring sand toys for smaller play equipment,
  • two chess/checker boards – bring pieces,
  • large abacus,
  • wheel-shaped monkey bars,
  • small ride-on pony,
  • chain climbers,
  • clear hamster tunnels,
  • and funky ladders.
View of the monkey bars at Baker Ranch Community Park with a crooked slide  and climbing apparatus

Slide count = 1 long tunnel slide, 1 tall twisty slide, 1 open tall slide — and then a smaller open slide on the 2-5 year old equipment.

Amazing sunken basketball court surrounded by lawn and palm trees.

Two shaded picnic areas for small parties or easy to combine for a large party.

Best for ages 4 or 5+.

Potential views of the ocean on a clear day. The OC Great Park big orange balloon is visible.

toddler playground at Baker Ranch Community Park in Lake Forest with sand under a spring ride-on horse with other play equipment that looks like little houses

Be Aware:

No swings.

Sitting areas near the playground are not shaded and it gets hot up here on the hill. So bring an umbrella — or I spent my time standing underneath the play equipment which actually provided quite a bit of shade.

The climbing rock can get hot to the touch during the heat of the day – do a “feel test” to make sure it’s manageable for your child.

The two smaller play areas are rated for 2-5 year olds while the big equipment is meant for 5-12 year olds.  The 2nd level of the big equipment feels very tall for little ones. You’ll probably have to do some running around to keep up with the kids here.  Smaller kid area is separated from big kid area, but I see the little ones would have a hard time resisting the draw from the big equipment.

Big play equipment is near the parking lot, but there’s not a lot of traffic there.

aerial view of picnic area at Baker Ranch Community Park with two shelters that have red tile roofs and a lawn area between them - a big climbing boulder sits below on the playground

Checklist:

basketball court surrounded by lawn and palm trees with foothills in the distance

Nearby parks:

Originally published in June 2014.

Another view of the amazing tunnel slide to really get an idea of how long it is - showing the walkway on the play equipment and other parts of the park in the background
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Anne Olson

Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Hi guys,

On the Park Regulations sign at the entrance, nothing say about smoking at the Park, is this allow ? and what is the City ordenance number that ban this ?, please let me know.

Thank you

Anne

Christina

Thursday 6th of November 2014

Do you know if the city requires a permit for "party use" of the picnic areas here?

Michele Whiteaker

Monday 10th of November 2014

Looks like they don't as long as it's under 50 people. You should always check the city website for reservation information. It's usually under Community Services and then Parks.

http://www.lakeforestca.gov/depts/cs/city_parks/park_shelter_reservations_information/default.asp

kristin @ petal and thorn

Wednesday 16th of July 2014

thanks to your site, we just discovered this amazing park! my 3 yo had so much fun running up and down the grassy hills and climbing through the hamster tunnels. this park is a gem. thanks!

Letbauer

Sunday 1st of June 2014

Looks great! However, what I think this area really needs is a park with a decent water feature, such as Pioneer road park. It gets so hot up in that area that the park will be mostly useless for the kids in the hot summer days. Slides will get extremely hot and the lack of shade structures will make it unbearable to enjoy this beautiful park. Such poor planning in my opinion :-(

Michele Whiteaker

Sunday 1st of June 2014

I agree it would be awesome to have a water feature. The residents of Baker Ranch will have access to "The Grove" which is right next door to the park with pools and water play features. So I think the residents will be served. Also, water features probably cost a lot to maintain. Might not have been in the budget?

I think it's a shame that more of us moms don't serve on city Park and Recreation Commissions or Committee -- because we're the ones who really have the insight (just not the time!!).