Photograph the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve - Search Nearby - Added by Julie & Brian

This ecological reserve is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the beach cities, making it the perfect place to explore some of Orange County's natural beauty. 

The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is one of our favorite spots to capture the sunset against the backdrop of the Santa Anna Mountains.  

There are several places to enter the reserve along Irvine Avenue, but the easiest way find parking and reach the location is to simply use the official parking lot of the  preserve on the corner of University Drive and Irvine Avenue.

To create the image of the mountains with the curve of the river in the foreground (pictured above), simply enter the trail at the west side of the parking lot and head down about 3/4 of a mile.

Here are the exact coordinates of the location: 33°38'46.61"N  , 117°53'29.59"W

The park is open every day from 7 a.m. to Sunset, and no fees are collected at this time. 

For more information about the preserve and a park map, you can visit the OC Parks site here.


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Easy Parking

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Literally my parents' view

This spot is incredible to take photos. My parents' house is here and they have incredible views and I can just walk out to the back porch to take photos at sunset. There is a great trail along this entire upper bluff area and it beautiful any time of the day but great for different sunset vantage points.

A Great Vantage Point

If you want to see a bit more of Newport Beach than just the beach itself, this is a must-do. Especially at sunset. There is a ton of parking, it's family-friendly, and you can set up a little picnic and watch the sun go down.