They have swelled in recent month and become the latest symbol of Orange County's worsening homeless problem.
"Many times, things appear hopeless because we have nothing — not even restrooms," said Tammy Schuler, 41, who shares her cluttered tarp-covered plot on the trail with her boyfriend and younger brother. "We trade and try to help each other. We have no choice."
But this way of life has sparked a backlash from nearby residents as well as joggers and cyclists who say the camps have increased crime and blight.
Anaheim this week declared a state of emergency, clearing the way for the removal of hundreds of people living in a landscape dotted with trash and used hypodermic needles and lacking toilet facilities.