Buck Gully Trail Guide
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||5.2 miles (8.4 km)|
|Other Options||4 miles to end of singletrack|
|Hike Time||2 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||460 feet (140m)|
|Highest Elevation||600 feet (183m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Buck Gully Reserve|
The Buck Gully Trail is a peaceful and fun hike through a coastal watershed located in Newport Beach’s foothills. What makes the hike remarkable is that the 1,200 acres of Buck Gully Reserve are tucked in between all the development around Newport Beach. So even though this hike is close to civilization, you feel like you are a world away as you hike your way up the canyon. It’s an easy hike, great for all levels and families. And while the trail itself doesn’t offer ocean views, I’ll show you an optional loop that offers vistas to Palos Verdes and Long Beach.
Where to Park for the Buck Gully Trail
While there are two ends of the Buck Gully Trail, the traditional starting point is in Corona del Mar, which is the only trailhead that offers parking. Use this trailhead address:
872 Poppy Ave, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
There are no bathrooms at the trailhead or on the trail, but the City of Newport Beach says that you can use the restrooms at the nearby Oasis Senior Center.
Gear for the Hike
You don’t need any special gear to do this hike. Light hiking gear or fitness clothes work great. After rain, the trail can get muddy, so ideally you’ll wear hiking footwear.
Joby GripTight Smartphone Flexible Tripod
Take your selfie stick game to the next level. Part of the fun of a hike is taking pictures, and a flexible JOBY smartphone tripod takes it to the next level. You can use it as a selfie stick, as a regular tripod, but more importantly, as a flexible tripod that can attach to tree branches and other objects. It’s not expensive, and it’s something you can use when not hiking too.
Latest Price – Amazon
Black Diamond Astro 250
It’s your biggest asset if you get lost. If something goes wrong and you get lost, sprain your ankle, or get delayed, you might be caught out after dark. And one of the top items that search and rescue departments recommend you carry is a light. Now smartphones have lights, but they drain the battery quickly. It’s better to invest in an expensive yet high-quality headlamp like the Black Diamond Astro 250. It takes AAA batteries, can last 200 hours, and has an emergency strobe. Carry it with you off the trail to use in emergencies as well.
Latest Price – REI | Amazon
REI Membership Saves You Money Forever
Have you shopped at REI before? They have all kinds of active clothes and gear, from fitness, to hiking, to snow sports, to casual wear. It’s an overall great place to shop (here’s why) and they offer a $20 membership that gets you 10% back on everything for life, along with frequent coupons, discounts, and member-only sales. It’s a no-brainer.
REI Membership – REI
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2022.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
Buck Gully Trail Maps
The trail is easy to follow and well-marked with trail signs at the junctions. You’ll share the trail with mountain bikes, but they are only allowed to go one way, uphill, so they’re never flying by. In the spring the area comes alive with wildflowers.
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 6. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Buck Gully Trail Hike Directions
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Turn By Turn Directions
If you just want to do 4 miles and avoid the fire road portion, you can turn around here.
From here you have a few options.
- If you want a snack or bathroom break, make the right and walk on the sidewalk about 5 minutes to the shopping center which has a Starbucks, supermarket, and other food options.
- If you want some ocean views, make the left and walk down the sidewalk. After about 1 mile, you’ll see a turnoff and trailhead for the Bobcat Trail. Take the Bobcat Trail downhill and it will dead end into the Buck Gully Trail after crossing a bridge.
This guide last updated on March 26, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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