Exploring Orange County’s Diverse Hiking Trails

Are you in search of an exciting outdoor activity for your next vacation? Look no further than Orange County, where you can find a variety of diverse hiking trails in addition to its beautiful beaches. We created the perfect guide for hikers of every skill level.


Orange County hiking trail


Easy Hikes:

Badland Park and South Laguna Coast Trail: Located in Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park, Badlands Park and South Laguna Coast Trail offer a 2.3-mile loop that’s perfect for beginners and children. These trails provide a unique experience, featuring fascinating rock formations and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. What’s great about these trails is that they’re customizable, allowing hikers to tailor their experience to their preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for natural wonders or scenic views, these trails won’t disappoint.

Buck Gully Reserve: This 4.5 mile loop is a popular hiking destination and is suitable for hikers of all levels. If you plan your visit right, this trail offers a chance to witness the beauty of flowing creeks and blooming wildflowers. 

San Clemente Beach Trail: This 2.3 mile trail offers breathtaking views of the coastline, with easy access to some of the best beaches in San Clemente. This trail is relatively easy making it perfect for hikers of all levels. 


Moderate Hikes:

Top of the World Hike via Canyon Acres Hike: A 2.2-mile trail located in the Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park in Laguna Beach.  As the name suggests, the moderately difficult trail leads to the “top of the world,” offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains. 

El Moro Canyon Loop Trail: A moderately difficult, 5.5-mile loop located in Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach. The trail takes hikers through a lush canyon, a rocky beach, and a scenic ridge, providing panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.


Challenging Hikes:

Car Wreck Trails: A challenging 3.8-mile trail located in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The trail gets its name from an old 1946 Dodge Coupe that crashed and was left abandoned there years ago, serving as a unique and fascinating landmark along the route. Hikers can expect steep inclines and varied terrain, but are rewarded with expansive views stretching from Catalina Island to Mount Baldy, as well as the intriguing vintage car wreck. 

Black Star Canyon Falls Trail: This hike is ideal for experienced hikers seeking a challenge, as it spans 6.7 miles and includes steep inclines and rocky terrain. Proper hiking gear, including water-resistant shoes, is a must for those looking to tackle this demanding trail. However, the payoff is worth the effort, as hikers will be rewarded with breathtaking views of a stunning waterfall at the end of the trail.


Coola sunscreen


Things to Bring:

  • Appropriate footwear, extra pair of socks 
  • Water and snacks
  • Sun Protection (sunglasses, hat, and extra points for sustainable sunscreen)
  • First aid kit
  • Light jacket
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra bag for trash

Things to Note:

  • Keep your distance from snakes, wildlife and poisonous plants
  • Dress in layers! 
  • For the coastal trails, try to catch a sunset hike, it will be worth it!
  • Remember to only leave footprints


With the combination of stunning beaches and breathtaking hiking trails, Orange County is a destination that offers something for every outdoor enthusiast! So book your stay with us here at San Clemente Cove and let’s explore! 


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