Hiking Motivation! Join the 52 Hike Challenge!

Bommer Canyon Hike Featured
play video
Hikes In and Around Orange County

Bommer Canyon Trail Hike Guide

  • 4.8 miles - Moderate Effort
  • Or: 2 miles easy and flat
  • 2 (Total)
  • 900 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 1,010 feet
  • No Dogs Allowed

The Bommer Canyon Trail, a natural oasis nestled within suburbia, offers a little bit of everything. This easy hike showcases natural beauty, has lots of wildlife spotting opportunities, an interesting history, and sweeping vistas as you approach the highest point in the San Joaquin Hills. The full 4.8 mile hike includes some uphill, but if you want to do something easy, I'll show you an easy 2 mile option that's flat and great for families. Bommer Canyon is a National Natural Landmark and California's first Natural Landmark; it's worth visiting.

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions for the Bommer Canyon Trail
  • Parking for the Bommer Canyon Trail
  • Insider Hike Tips and Recommendations

Where is the Bommer Canyon Trail?

The main trailhead is in Irvine, CA. Use this address:
6400 Shady Canyon Trail, Irvine, CA 92603

Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 3
The entrance can be easy to miss, look for this sign out front.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 4
The main trailhead parking lot is small and fills up quickly with hikers, locals, and mountain bikers.
Bommer Canyon Overflow Parking
If there's no parking in the main lot, head down to the Turtle Rock Community Park and then walk up from there.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 2
You shouldn't have a problem parking at the Turtle Rock Community Park, the lot is huge. There are also bathrooms here.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 7
The main trailhead has bathrooms and water fountains.

Gear For the Hike

This is an easy trail where you can get away with fitness clothes or light hiking gear. Good trail shoes will help on the dirt, and trekking poles can help on the steeper climb at the end. Bring 1L of water. It can get hot in the summer; there isn't any shade.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated June 2024)

Bommer Canyon Trail Maps

Overall the trails are well-marked and well-maintained. Please stay on the trails and respect the signage.

Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 1
Help the park restore the area by staying on the trails and heeding any warnings.
Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

Elevation Profile

Bommer Canyon Trail Elevation
Here's the one-way elevation profile. The main climb is at the end of the hike. If you do the short option to mile 1, the climbing is undetectable.

3D Map

Bommer Canyon Trail 3d Map
You'll gently ascend Bommer Canyon. Toward the end, you'll head up to the ridge in the San Joaquin Hills. From there the views are incredible.

Hike Brief

Govenor At Bommer Canyon
Here's how Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to hike Bommer Canyon, in a suit and tie. Photo LA Times

XX Hike Directions

Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 5
The trailhead is behind the building where the bathrooms are.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 6
There's a cool mosaic on the building that you can grab a photo with.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 8
Head through the gate to start the hike on the Bommer Meadow Trail.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 9
The trail junctions all have signs that tell you which trail that you're on.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 10
The trail meanders up Bommer Canyon, through the old cattle grazing area.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 11
The trail crosses a bridge.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 12
And then another.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 13
When you get to the junction, make the hard right onto the Nature Loop.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 14
The trail is fenced in to protect the habitat. The park is in the process of removing invasive weeds and plants before introducing native species back to the area.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 15
The trail gently climbs up Bommer Canyon. Look back for nice views into Angeles National Forest and Mt Badly in the distance.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 16
As the trail climbs, you'll also see the 73 Toll Road at the top of Bommer Canyon. If you're doing the full hike, you'll be hiking up to that point.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 17
The trail winds down some switchbacks to a hill and a bridge. Cross the bridge.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 18
Once across the bridge, follow the trail around an open area.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 19
You'll pass the Bommer Nature Garden, which has relics of the old cattle camp inside. It's open by appointment only
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 20
Head around to the road and cross over if you are doing the full hike.

If you are doing the shorter 2 mile hike, simply go back the way you came from here.

Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 21
To continue on the longer hike, cross the road and start the Bommer Pass Trail.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 22
There's a small uphill as you loop to the right on the hill.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 23
From the top of the Bommer Pass Trail, you'll be able to see the West Fork Trail climbing the hillside in the distance. We'll be climbing that trail later.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 24
Bommer Pass Trail heads downhill to its end.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 25
Go past the East Fork Trail.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 26
And right after that, make the left onto the West Fork Trail.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 27
After a short flatter stretch, make the hard left and start hiking uphill. On the right you'll pass the start of the Turtle Ridge Trail.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 28
The trail is steep but doable.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 29
Take breaks to turn around and look back at the incredible views into Bommer Canyon and beyond.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 30
At the top of the climb, go through the gate.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 31
Then hike under the 73 Toll Road.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 32
The trail will loop up to the left as it joins Ridge Park Rd.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 36
You'll get sweeping views from Saddleback Mountain to Mt Baldy.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 33
When you get to the trail junction, make the hard right to the trailhead.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 34
Here you are, at the top! Check out the trail map, relax, and get ready to head back down.
Bommer Canyon Trail Directions 35
There's a cool trailhead sign here that makes for a good photo.

From here you just return the same way you came up. If you need water or a bathroom, just visit the park across the street. This trailhead is popular spot for local to access Crystal Cove State Park, as there's no entry fees or PCH traffic.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.