The Best Hiking in Orange County

Exploring the Arches at Little Corona del Mar

Orange County / Little Corona del Mar Beach

Little Corona del Mar Beach is a secluded beach located on Poppy Avenue across Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar.

Tiffany Nguyen
1226 Saves

Hiking Crystal Cove via the Loop Trail

Orange County / Loop Trail Trailhead

The trail begins and ends at the El Moro Visitor Center. Parking requires either a $15 day use parking pass, which is available in the visitor center.

Mariya Dondonyan
477 Saves

Hike to Santiago Peak via Holy Jim

Orange County / Holy Jim Trail

When you think of Orange County, you think of beaches, boardwalks, but what you may not know is that there are some great hikes in our very own backyard! My favorite is a fairly strenuous day hiking.

Andrew Saavedra
461 Saves

Camping at Live Oak Grove

Orange County / Live Oak Grove Campground

Located within an hour's drive of Orange County and much of the Inland Empire, with dozens of trails winding through and above the beautiful and serene Bell Canyon.

Grant Nyquist
413 Saves

Hike-in Primitive Camping at Crystal Cove SP

Orange County / El Moro Canyon Trailhead

Located off of Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach is Crystal Cove State Park. There are three primitive sites located in Crystal Cove: Deer Canyon, Upper Moro, and Lower Moro.

Joshua Hernandez
370 Saves

Camp at San Mateo Campground

Orange County / San Mateo Campground

San Onofre State Beach, best known for its famous surf breaks, additionally offers two well equipped campgrounds.

Grant Nyquist
308 Saves

Hike the Hellman Park Trail

Orange County / Hellman Park Trail

This trail is great if you're looking for a quick, but intense workout. The hike itself is only 4 miles out- and-back and can be easily completed within a couple of hours.

Ben Lertsakdadet
245 Saves

Hike to Aztec Falls

Orange County / Splinters Cabin Day Use Area

From Lake Arrowhead, take the 173 to Hook Creek Road until you dead end onto Squint Ranch Road. Take a right at the first fork in the road, and park in the lot for Splinters Cabin.

Tori Marsh
172 Saves

Hike to Holy Jim Falls

Orange County / Holy Jim Trail

To start, directions on how to get to the trail there are two different ways, the most common , which I will explain, being through Rancho Santa Margarita you will head east on Santa Margarita Parkwa.

Doug Hall
167 Saves

Hike the Water Tank Trail

Orange County / Water Tank Road

There a numerous trails in the Laguna Coast Wilderness that proceed up and along the ridges and down into the canyons (or the reverse), and most are excellent for hiking, trail running, and mountain .

Josiah Roe
158 Saves

Mountain Bike Car Wreck Trail through Aliso Canyon

Orange County / Car Wreck Trail

There are numerous ways to incorporate the Car Wreck trail into a larger loop through the Laguna Coast Wilderness and Aliso Canyon Park, but a common route is to begin at Alta Laguna Park at "Top of .

Josiah Roe
151 Saves

Blackstar Canyon Falls

Orange County / Blackstar Canyon Trailhead

Waterfalls in Orange County are far and few between, with the best lying near and inside the Cleveland National Forest.

Doug Hall
136 Saves

Backcountry Camp in Joshua Tree

Orange County / Twin Tanks Backcountry Station

Backcountry camping can be done at various locations throughout the park (13 different locations).

Lauren Schusterman
131 Saves

Hike to Dripping Cave in the Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness

Orange County / Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park

Dripping Cave sits tucked away in a corner of Wood Canyon, part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and the trail to the cave, while short, requires *at least* a 2.

Josiah Roe
103 Saves

Trail Run the Boat Road and Laguna Ridge

Orange County / Spur Ridge Trailhead

There a numerous trails in the Laguna Coast Wilderness that proceed up and along the ridges and down into the canyons (or the reverse), and most are excellent for trail running, hiking, and mountain .

Josiah Roe
77 Saves

Hike Willow Canyon, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Orange County / Willow Staging Area

This hike has been a must do since I was young.

Doug Hall
73 Saves

Hike the Cougar Crest Trail

Orange County / Cougar Crest Trailhead

On the north side of Big Bear Lake, just off the 38, you will find a turn off for the Cougar Crest Trail. The parking lot is well marked, and signs for the trailhead are easy to spot.

Tori Marsh
71 Saves

Hike the Dreaded Hill Loop in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Orange County / Dreaded Hill Loop Parking Lot

One of the great things about Whiting Ranch is the trail system branches off and reconnects in several places, so you can make your adventure as long or as short as you like.

Julie & Brian
67 Saves

Climb Aliso Peak via the Valido Trail

Orange County / Valido Trail

The Valido Trail trailhead can be found just off West street off the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Aliso Beach. Park on West Street past the trailhead. The trail proceeds approximate .

Josiah Roe
64 Saves

Hike the Hidden Valley Nature Trail

Orange County / Hidden Valley Nature Trail

Turn off of Park Blvd near Intersection Rock (there will be signs for the turn) and follow the paved road for about a minute. There is a large parking lot with many picnic tables.

Mountain Bike Bommer Ridge & Emerald Canyon

Orange County / Emerald Canyon Road

There a numerous trails in the Laguna Coast Wilderness that proceed up and along the ridges and down into the canyons (or the reverse), and are quite popular for mountain biking, hiking, and trail ru.

Josiah Roe
58 Saves

Hike the B.F.I. Trail in Crystal Cove State Park

Orange County / B.F.I.

To get to the trailhead, enter Crystal Cove State Park through the Crystal Cove El Moro Campground entrance immediately next to El Moro Elementary School.

Josiah Roe
51 Saves

Watch the Sunset from Echo Rock

Orange County / Echo Rock Parking

Park your car at the Echo Rock Parking Area.  The trail starts next to the outhouse and heads north.

Breanne McNitt
48 Saves

Hike Borrego Canyon to Red Rock Canyon Trails

Orange County / Borrego Canyon Trail Head

Just south east of the city of Irvine, on the southern end of Orange County, is the scenic Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

Nick Garcia
46 Saves

Hike the Split Rock Trail

Orange County / Split Rock Trail

From Park Blvd you'll turn off onto a dirt road labelled with signs for Split Rock. At the end of the road there is a round about with parking and picnic tables.

Backpack the California Riding and Hiking Trail in Joshua Tree

Orange County / Black Rock Campground

The starting point for this hike is at the Black Rock campground, 5 miles from the town of Yucca Valley. You'll need to self register for a free backcountry permit before starting.

Bradley Burgess
30 Saves

Off-Road Jacoby Canyon

Orange County / Jacoby Canyon Trailhead

This is now my favorite trail in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Doug Hall
27 Saves

Camp at Holcomb Valley Campground

Orange County / Holcomb Valley Campground

This campground is awesome! With great views, plenty of space and clean bathrooms it'll have you in for a treat! Whether it be a multiple day trip or just one night this campground is awesome.

Doug Hall
26 Saves

Hike the Quail Hill Loop

Orange County / Quail Hill Trailhead

The Quail Hill loop is a short and easily accessible hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. This makes it a great place to escape for a quick sunset hike after work, or at the end of a busy weekend.

Julie & Brian
16 Saves

Snowshoe to Grand View Point

Orange County / Aspen Glen Picnic Area

Grand View Point is accessed via Pine Knot Trail, a 6.5 mile out and back hiking trail located at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area, 1 mile from Big Bear Village.

Spencer Williams
16 Saves

Relax on Eureka Peak

Orange County / Eureka Peak

Accessing Covington Flats in Joshua Tree National Park requires a high ground-clearance overland vehicle. Bring spare water and emergency tools incase of a breakdown.

Michael Wigle
15 Saves

Run the Carriage Trail

Orange County / Carriage Trail

There is room to park just off San Timoteo Road. On the other side of the trail is more parking off Alessandro. You can park your car on either side and start your run/walk/bike ride.

Christian Soto
15 Saves

Hike the Covington Crest Trail

Orange County / Covington Crest Trail

Accessing Covington Flats in Joshua Tree National Park requires a high ground-clearance overland vehicle. In the summer months a standard car might make it to the parking lot after the 7.

Michael Wigle
14 Saves

Mountain Bike Bommer Ridge from the Pacific Ridge Trailhead

Orange County / Laguna Coast Wilderness, Pacific Ridge Trailhead

The Bommer Ridge West Trailhead aka The Pacific Ridge Trailhead begins at the edge of Ridge Park Road, overlooking CA State Highway 73, and marks the northwest entrance to the Laguna Coast Wilderness.

Josiah Roe
13 Saves

Scramble Cornell Peak

Orange County / Palm Springs Aerial Tram

Entering Mt San Jacinto State Park via the Palm Springs Aerial Tram is one of the easiest ways to get into the wilderness area.

Matt Huber
10 Saves

Hike Teutonia Peak in Mojave National Preserve

Orange County / Teutonia Peak Trail

Teutonia Peak is a rocky 5,755-foot mountain on the edge of Cima Dome in the north east section of Mojave National Preserve.

Matt Purciel
4 Saves