- Home - Hiking Trails - Orange County Hiking Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike
This Laguna Coast Wilderness Park hike takes you through the best of the park. The trails wind through some of the last remaining undeveloped coastal canyons in Southern California, with great views, lush canyon paths, unique geology, and lots of wildlife.
7.5 miles (12.1 km)
Marked park trails
Native wilderness, wildlife, views, unique geology
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike Trail Maps
Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
18751 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651, USA
The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park hike is minutes from Laguna Beach, and about 20 minutes from John Wayne Airport. If you take the 73, just note that it's a toll road. You can pay your toll online after you drive.
The hike does a loop around Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, hitting the best viewpoints and picturesque laurel canyon.
The two big hills are at the beginning and end. After that, it's a lot of small up and down.
Interactive Map Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike Map Downloads Gear for the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award ( my review here). I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life ( more on that here). On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews For my complete gear list and survival kit contents, check out my post on the modern hiking essentials here. I'd also recommend taking a quick look at the Every day they mark down great quality hiking gear, fitness gear, and clothing. Pick up an inexpensive lifetime REI Outlet site. REI Membership for an extra 10% off. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike Directions What You Need to Know Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is open from 8am to 5pm. The parking lot usually fills up by 9am on weekends, and they will close the lot if it’s full. The Nix Nature Center, located at the end of the parking lot, has free trail maps, bathrooms, and a place to fill up on water. Stop by, sign the registry (mandatory), and take a look at the wildlife spotting board. The park is home to over 40 endangered species, as well as more common species like mule deer, weasels, bobcats, hawks, and falcons. There other hiking trails in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. If you want a shorter (or longer) hike, the rangers in Nix Nature Center can help you out. The trails on the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park hike are shared with mountain bikers and horses. Give them a wide berth and let them pass. Pay for parking at the machine and leave the ticket on your dashboard. Turn by Turn Directions Pay for Laguna Coast Wilderness Park parking at the pay station with cash, credit card, or OC Parks pass, and put the receipt on your windshield. Before you start hiking, head into the Nix Nature Center to sign the trail register (mandatory). Hike up the big, main trail from the Nix Nature Center. Keep left at the beginning of the hike on the Little Sycamore trail. The trail quickly goes uphill, take your time. There are some flat sections of trail to catch your breath, but you’ll hike uphill again to the ridge. At about 1 mile, you reach the top of the ridge. Hike left onto Serrano Ridge trail. Soak in the best views at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park . On a clear day, you’ll be able to see Mt Baldy and the big mountains. Keep hiking on Serrano Ridge trail. At about 2.4 miles, hike straight through the trail intersection. At 2.7 miles, keep left, staying on the trail along the highway. The trail goes under the highway (73). Just before 3 miles, the trail ends in a “T” after the highway underpass. Hike to the left at the fork. Enjoy the gentle downhill on the Upper Laurel trail. At about 3.5 miles hike left onto the (smaller) Laurel Canyon trail. At about 3.8 miles, there will be a series of rock steps to the right of the trail leading to a cliff. It’s a good place to stop for a snack. Continue down the shady trail, and at about 4.6 miles, hike the left onto the Stagecoach South trail. You hike back under the highway. Continue hiking across an open area. The trail is well defined here. At about 6.1 miles, hike the right to stay on the Stagecoach South Trail. Keep hiking until the trail starts climbing again. After you hike to the top of the climb, you’ll see the Nix Nature Center below. And about 7.5 miles later, the trail ends where you started at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park parking lot. An easy way to give back is to simply pick up any trash you see on the trail. A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
Crystal Cove State Park offers pristine coastal nature, ocean views, and well marked trails. This Crystal Cove hike takes you on a best-of loop, with great views of the mountains, ocean, and on a clear day, Catalina. One of my favorite hikes. There’s also a shorter route, see the hike details for more info.
If you are not a hiking pro, this is where to start. Learning how to hike safely can mean the difference between a fun day outdoors or the hike from hell. This article will get you hiking in the right direction.
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The 10 hiking essentials are the recommended key survival tools that hikers should bring with them on every hike. The original 10 essentials date back the 1930s. Here’s my take on the modern hiking essentials and how to use them.
I’m Hiking Guy, aka Cris Hazzard. I like to get outdoors, walk, and then write about it. It wasn’t always like that though.
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