Rancho Mission Viejo (Rancho Misión Vieja) is an active 23,000-acre ranch and farm, habitat reserve, and community in the unincorporated area of South Orange County, CA. At one time, Rancho Mission Viejo was part of a 200,000-acre land grant given in 1845 to John Forster. The ranch’s history can be traced back to 1845 when John (Don Juan) Forster acquired Rancho La Paz and Mission San Juan Capistrano. Forster added these properties to Rancho Trabuco, which he had purchased in 1843. Forster’s brother-in-law was Pío Pico, governor of then-Mexican-held California. In 1864, Forster added Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores to his holdings. Rancho Mission Viejo began building homes on the ranch just a few years ago and now there are many residents living there in condos and single family tract homes. Many more developments are underway and planned for many years into the future. Residents enjoy beautiful views of the hills and canyons in this area. Wildlife abounds here.