Escape the hustle and bustle and get into nature with these local Orange County hikes. Come prepared for adventure with sunscreen, appropriate footwear, a flashlight if your hike will end after dark, snacks for energy on the trail, and plenty of water or your favorite hydrating beverage.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve (Newport Beach)
A great trail to share with your pup. Upper Newport Back Bay is dog-friendly and doesn’t have a lot of elevation gain. Also a good option for bird watching and people watching since this tends to be a populated trail.
Top of the World (Laguna Beach)
A fairly easy walk to a pretty ocean view. Mostly dirt road with little covering, so bring sunscreen! On a clear day check out the view of Catalina Island!
Crystal Cove State Park (Newport Beach/Laguna Beach)
Easy (Green Route)
Another beautiful ocean view awaits you at Crystal Cove. This is a great option for a sunset hike as the path is fairly easy to the top and you’ll have a view out to the water. Start before sunset and make it to the top in time to take some nice pictures.
Peter’s Canyon Regional Park (Orange)
Want to spot some wildlife on your adventure? Then Peter’s Canyon is the right hike for you! Start early for this 6-mile hike through the canyon and get ready for some beautiful views.
Red Rock Canyon (Lake Forest/Whiting Ranch)
Feel like you stepped out of suburbia and into the stunning red rock of Sedona. Red Rock Canyon offers a gradual but uphill hike with beautiful scenery. Some may find this hike challenging. Make sure to bring your camera!
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park (Foothill Ranch)
Choose from 23 different trails of varying difficulty that lead through the hills of Whiting Ranch. Hikes through Whiting Ranch can also connect to other OC Parks trails, so this is a good option if you want to travel a distance through a variety of parks and terrain.
Black Star Canyon (Santa Ana Mountains)
Did you know there are waterfalls in Orange County? Well, there are! Black Star Canyon pays off most when there’s been rainfall, otherwise the falls are more like a drizzle. Either way if you’re up for a challenge this is the hike for you! Make sure to start early in case the hike takes longer than expected.
We hope you love trekking into nature with these suggested hikes. Did we miss one of your favorites? Tell us about what trails you love in the comments!
Here are some references for more of the best hiking in Orange County:
Remember, you know your body best! If you have chronic pain or injuries, please consult with your physician before attempting any strenuous activity.