Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike
|Distance||7.5 miles (12.1 km)|
|Total Climbing||1,210 feet (369m)|
|Park||Laguna Coast Wilderness Park|
A Laguna Coast Wilderness Park hike transports you into how coastal California had existed thousands of years ago. You’ll hike through some of the last untouched coastal canyons in California, enjoying pristine coastal sage scrub, ridges with panoramic views, and abundant wildlife, including over 40 endangered species. This hike through Laguna Coast Wilderness Park takes you over the best trails, and you’ll get a taste of all the types of scenery that the park has to offer.
All 7000 acres and 40 miles of trails at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park are part of the Natural Community Conservation Planning program. The state program works with county and local governments to protect land with fragile ecosystems and endangered species. You can learn more about all abundant plants and animals when you start he hike at the Nix Nature Center, which has volunteers and interpretive displays, and lists of recent wildlife sightings.
Where is Laguna Coast Wilderness Park?
Use this trailhead address: 18751 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651, USA.
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. Pay for parking at the machine and leave the ticket on your dashboard.
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. Even if there’s no endangered species around when you visit, there will probably be plenty of hawks, mule deer, weasels, and falcons.
Gear for the Hike
While you can get away with fitness clothes, I do recommend wearing hiking gear. It’s a long-ish hike and it can get very hot during the day. Here’s what I bring:
- Hiking boots or trail runners
- Daypack with 3L of water
- A snack
- Trekking poles
- Hiking GPS (although the maps and signs in the park are decent)
- Emergency beacon just in case
If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list. I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too.
See The Gear I Use
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Trail Maps
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. They’re great at putting hikes together to suit your parameters. And 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.
I highly recommend bringing some form of paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike Directions
You can help other hikers. If you do this hike and something has changed, snap a few photos and email me the details. I’ll update the guide so that others can do the hike safely.