July 23, 1769, Gaspar de Portola led an expedition
into what is now Orange County and camped a few
miles east of the San Juan Capistrano area.
July 24, the expedition headed inland to avoid
the many streams and swamps in the area. They
found a large plateau area and camped that night
on its western edge by a canyon which the Franciscans
named San Francisco Solano. This was on the eastern
side of Trabuco Creek about three miles downstream
from the present Trabuco Oaks.
camped here on July 24-25, one of the soldiers
lost his "trabuco" or musket, a most valuable
possession to any soldier. To mark this loss,
the stream was named Trabuco. The name has been
associated with the mesa, the canyon and the entire
area ever since.
History provided by
of Orange Harbors, Beaches & Parks