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Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike

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.

Rating:
4 / 5
Distance:
7.5 miles (12.1 km)
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Hard
Climbing:
1210 ft (369 m)
Trail Condition:
Marked park trails
Challenges:
Climbing
People:
Moderate
Known For:
Native wilderness, wildlife, views, unique geology
Best Time:
Morning
Dogs:
No
Bathrooms:
Yes
Parking:
Fee

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

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike location

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.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike 3d map

The hike does a loop around Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, hitting the best viewpoints and picturesque laurel canyon.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike elevation

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

hiking map on garmin fenix 3

If you have GPS device (I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.

Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up a good topo map too.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike Directions

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike

What You Need to Know

Turn by Turn Directions

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike parking
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.
Nix Nature Center
Before you start hiking, head into the Nix Nature Center to sign the trail register (mandatory).
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
Hike up the big, main trail from the Nix Nature Center.
Little Sycamore trail
Keep left at the beginning of the hike on the Little Sycamore trail.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
The trail quickly goes uphill, take your time.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
There are some flat sections of trail to catch your breath, but you’ll hike uphill again to the ridge.
Serrano Ridge trail
At about 1 mile, you reach the top of the ridge. Hike left onto Serrano Ridge trail.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike views
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.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail intersection
Keep hiking on Serrano Ridge trail. At about 2.4 miles, hike straight through the trail intersection.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
At 2.7 miles, keep left, staying on the trail along the highway.
 trail goes under the highway (73)
The trail goes under the highway (73).
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
Just before 3 miles, the trail ends in a “T” after the highway underpass. Hike to the left at the fork.
Laurel Canyon trail
Enjoy the gentle downhill on the Upper Laurel trail. At about 3.5 miles hike left onto the (smaller) Laurel Canyon trail.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike cliff
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.
Stagecoach South trail
Continue down the shady trail, and at about 4.6 miles, hike the left onto the Stagecoach South trail.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
You hike back under the highway.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
Continue hiking across an open area. The trail is well defined here.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike trail
At about 6.1 miles, hike the right to stay on the Stagecoach South Trail. Keep hiking until the trail starts climbing again.
Nix Nature Center
After you hike to the top of the climb, you’ll see the Nix Nature Center below.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike end
And about 7.5 miles later, the trail ends where you started at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park parking lot.

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.

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