Hiking and Biking Trails in Coastal Orange County
Get some fresh air and enjoy the coastal scenery.
Crystal Cove State Park
8471 North Coast Highway
Laguna Beach CA 92651
Hiking and biking in the backcountry and wilderness areas of Crystal Cove State Park offer you 17 miles of hiking trails through 2,400 acres of native wilderness mostly the endangered coastal sage scrub plant community. For energetic backpackers, there are three environmental campgrounds, one in a canyon and two at the higher elevations. The higher trails offer beautiful vistas of the mountainous backcountry, geological formations, and the blue Pacific Ocean. Exploring the lower trails offers hiking through riparian woodlands with oak and sycamore trees along the seasonal Moro Creek. Whether you explore the high trails or the low trails or both, you will find ample evidence of native plants and animals, and a sense of escaping from civilization into the beautiful solitude of natural history.
The park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach.
Latitude/Longitude: 33.5701 / -117.8756This is not beach camping. After you park your car in El Moro lot, you must hike inland about three miles, mostly uphill. The trail is strenuous at times and is in the opposite direction from the beach. Some people report that it takes two hours to reach the campgrounds, one way, while others report six hours. You must pack everything in, including water.
In addition to the Historic District, Crystal Cove State Park has 3.5 miles of beach and undeveloped woodland, which is popular for hiking and horseback riding. The offshore waters are designated as an underwater park. Crystal Cove is used by mountain bikers inland and scuba and skin divers underwater. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers. Visitors can explore tidepools and sandy coves. Crystal Cove offers sand and surf, rocky reefs, ridges and canyons – plus recreational opportunities – that appeal to everybody. State Park Rangers conduct nature hikes in the winter.
The park features three miles of Pacific coastline, plus wooded canyons, open bluffs, and offshore waters designated as an underwater park. Crystal Cove is not just used by people who enjoy water related activities, such as swimming, surfing, sunbathing, scuba and skin diving, but also people who like to fish, mountain bike and hike.
The great expanse upland, north and east of the Pacific Coast Highway is for hikers, who can follow hillside and canyon trails to campsites that allow visitors to feel they are “away from it all,” despite being near one of the greatest population centers in the United States.