Hiking Crystal Cove via the Loop Trail

    4.0
    5 miles 740 ft gain  - Loop Trail

    Added by Mariya Dondonyan

    Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain: 35-740 feet. Time: 2 hours. One of the best coastal views in Newport. Four different hikes at different levels of difficulty. Great photo opportunities.

    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.

    This hike we are focusing on is called the Difficult Loop Trail and it is the third most difficult trail the canyon offers. You take Moro Canyon, East Cut Across, Moro Ridge, then BFI. Maps are available at the ranger station.

    On this trail, you first take a windy trail that gradually inclines from 35-740 feet in elevation. Once you hike to the top you're set to go down a steep, straight slope down back the mountain.

    However, a great suggestion might be to take this trail backwards. Go straight up a difficult incline first, then easily make your way down the windy trail. This might be easier because tackling the hardest part first will give you enough energy to tackle through the challenge. Also, the journey back down will be easier on your knees going down the gradual incline.

    When you've completed the hike, there is a trail on your way back down that directly leads to the beach. This is the best way to cool down, put your feet in the warm sand, take a dip in the water, and relax. You deserve it after this hike.

    Read More
    Chillin
    Photography
    Hiking
    Beach
    Easy Parking
    Food Nearby
    Scenic

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Rate this Adventure

    Crystal Cove

    Avoid hiking this trail if it is blazing hot outside. No shade. But the view is worth the hike.

    ūü•ą Contributor

    over 4 years ago

    El Moro

    Locals call this park El Moro. To save yourself the $15 parking fee, I like to access the park via the Ridge Park Entrance to Crystal Cove State Park on the opposite side of the park. Parking on the street is free, but can be crowded, especially on weekends. Arrive early to find parking. There's a multitude of trails to take, just bring a map. And also bring lots of water, it can get very hot in the canyon. I've seen rattlesnakes, coyotes, and bobcats here. Luckily no mountain loins though. Just be on the look out!

    Bring lots of water in summer months

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Laguna Beach, California

    Sleek Hilltop View Home | Hot Tub | Rotating Floor

    From $666/night

    Laguna Beach, California

    Luxe Home With Patio & Stunning Canyon View

    From $258/night

    Newport Beach, California

    Beachfront Villa With 2 Verandas & Sunset View

    From $553/night

    Laguna Beach, California

    Gated Beach Condo Sweeping Views Of Laguna Beach

    From $179/night

    Nearby Adventures

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

    5.0
    0.5 mi / 350 ft gain

    Hike the El Moro Canyon Trail

    5.0
    4 mi / 744 ft gain

    Hike-in Primitive Camping at Crystal Cove SP

    3.5

    Photograph the Pacific Coast Highway over Crystal Cove Beach

    4.4
    More Nearby Adventures

    Laguna Beach

    Hike gorgeous ridgelines, play in the waves, or simply meander through the jaw-dropping coastline, Laguna Beach is a memorable destination for artists and adventurers alike. 

    Learn More