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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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 .
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.
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).
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.
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 .
Hike Willow Canyon, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Orange County / Willow Staging Area
This hike has been a must do since I was young.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Off-Road Jacoby Canyon
Orange County / Jacoby Canyon Trailhead
This is now my favorite trail in the San Bernardino National Forest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.