Although the Laguna Beach area offers a lot of great options, choosing the right hike for your personal needs, is essential. Are you a beginner, or advanced? Are you bringing the kids or dogs along? How about hiking with an option to stay overnight? The possibilities are endless, but all involve memorable ocean views and a chance to clear the mind and do some soul-searching. Your perfect hike awaits in Laguna Beach.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Part of the unique qualities of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, is that it is one of the last remaining coastal canyons in Southern California. There are some 40 miles of trails, winding through wooded areas which can lead to some spectacular elevated views. You can make the hike, your own. The park (and trails) opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at sunset. Located at 18751 Laguna Canyon Rd in Laguna Beach, the parking lot opens at 8:00 a.m. and all-day parking is available for $3.00. What could be better than sitting on the ocean bluffs and watching the sunset after a long hike?
Crystal Cove State Park
If you are looking for more than just hiking, Crystal Cove State Park is the destination for you. At Crystal Cove State Park, not only is hiking available, but the venue also offers overnight camping as well. Due to its beautiful setting, this is also a popular destination for weddings. Located at 8471 N. Coast Hwy, in Laguna Beach, daily parking permits are $15.00. Come out for a day of exploring tide pools, hiking the backcountry, or biking the trails. It is also located in close proximity to the historic district of Laguna Beach. If you plan to camp out, or would like to reserve a quaint little cottage for an overnight stay, call (800) 444-7275 to make a reservation. Why not spend an evening listening to waves and counting stars?
Aliso Summit Trail
Taking a venture up through the Aliso Summit Trail makes for another great day trip. The trail is less than seven miles long, so it is a nice leisurely hike. It provides a great place for a family outing, as the trail is mainly flat, with just one mild uphill hike at the very end. Along the way, you will be treated to spectacular panoramic ocean views from atop the ridge of Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park. Feel free to bring the family dog too, as this is just a fun day hike. There is no formal parking lot, just parking along the street. The entry to the trail, is located in Laguna Niguel, at the intersection of Highlands Ave and Ridgeview Drive.
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Despite the name, this is another good, light, day hike. The trail is a little over three miles long and this is a good leisurely stroll with breathtaking ocean views. Whether you are a hiker, walker, or runner, this makes a nice destination. If you are a beginning runner, there are places where you can stop and rest, while overlooking the ocean. Of course this also makes it nice for a good stress-relieving walk with a friend or partner. The spectacular views will not be soon forgotten. The entry is located in Laguna Niguel, at 31671 Isle Viste. Street parking is available.
Pacific Ridge Trailhead
Pacific Ridge Trailhead is a great hike, with varying trail options available. The ocean views are almost endless, but on some of the trails, shade is at a premium. That said, hats, water and sunblock, are recommended. Most of the hiking options take about 2-3 hours round trip. Bring your camera and be prepared to be blown away by the beautiful setting. No matter what your mood when you begin the hike, you will be in a better place by the time it ends. The entrance is located on Ridge Park Rd, near Coastal Peak Park in Newport Beach.
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