Peters Canyon Update

Peters Canyon Hike

In This Guide
  • Peters Canyon Hike Directions
  • Peters Canyon Trail Maps
  • Getting to Peters Canyon Park
Distance5.9 miles (9.5 km)
Other Options 2.7 miles
Hike Time2:30 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)650 feet (198m)
Highest Elevation683 feet (208m)
Fees & PermitsParking Fee
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park Website (?)Peters Canyon Regional Park
Park Phone714-973-6611
Stay In Touch - - -

This hike through Peters Canyon Regional Park is one of the most popular hikes in Orange County for a good reason. The hike has everything: well-maintained trails, climbs and flats, panoramic views, and wildlife spotting opportunities. This Peters Canyon hike takes you on a very-doable 2:30 hour loop of the park. Lots of side trails offer opportunities to make it shorter if you’d like.

Where is Peters Canyon Regional Park?

Use this trailhead address: 8548 E. Canyon View Ave, Orange, CA 92869.

This hiking guide starts in the main parking lot (on the north side), which has plenty of room and bathrooms, but also a small fee. There are other areas where you can park on the street and access the park if you want to save the fee.

Peters Canyon Hike Update 1
There are two parking lots at Peters Canyon. A large one when you first pull in, and then a smaller one next to the trailhead and bathrooms. Try to park at the smaller one, which is closer to the hike start. The park is popular and the lots fill up during the day.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 2
There’s a small fee to park. Print a ticket out at the kiosks in the parking lot, and leave it on your dashboard.
Peters Canyon Hike Start Map
The hike starts at the bathrooms and ranger station at the far end of the parking lots.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 4
There are good bathrooms at the start of the hike. There are also porta-potties at the mid-way point (see the directions below).

Gear for the Hike

This is a hike you can do in workout gear or hiking gear. It can get very hot in the summer, so bring plenty of water. I generally bring 2L in a hydration bladderTrekking poles are helpful on the steep sections.

FYI >> REI 50% Clearance Sale on now

La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: WomenMen

Opsrey Stratos Blue

I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) 

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI.

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here

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 offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Peters Canyon Hike Trail Maps

There are usually official Peters Canyon hiking trail maps at the trailhead, and you can also print one out here. If you want to do a shorter hike, the map will give you plenty of hiking options. Otherwise my guide and maps will do the trick. We’ll be taking the East Ridge Loop route, and there are signs along the trails to point you in the right direction.

Peters Canyon Hike maps
There are free hiking maps at the hiking board. Take one in case you get lost. Keep it in good shape and return it when you’re done.
Click To View Map

Peters Canyon Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.

Peters Canyon Hike 3d map
The hike covers the entire park, which is wedged nicely in between a residential area. Peters Canyon is really an oasis within suburbia.
Peters Canyon Hike elevation
There’s one really steep hill, and then the rest of the hike is pretty gradual up and down.

Quick Hike History

Peters Canyon History
At one point, this area was a Boy Scout camp named after James Irvine’s youngest son, Myford Irvine. Photo Tustin Historical Society

Peters Canyon Hike Directions

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Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Directions

Peters Canyon Hike Update 3
Hike past the bathrooms and ranger station.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 5
The trail starts right after the ranger station.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 6
The trail winds its way around the first parking lot.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 7
Continue hiking as the trail follows Canyon View Avenue. You can see the fire damage off to the right. The area to the right was a seasonal nesting area for rare birds before the fire.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 8
The trail climbs up and is next to the road for a short stretch.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 9
And then turns right to follow Jamboree Road.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 10
Follow the trail down along the fence, keeping right. There is a service road to a park facility off to the left.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 11
The trail climbs away from the road.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 12
And soon you’ll see the big climb ahead. The reservoir will be off to your right.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 13
There’s a little downhill here; stay left to hit the trail climbing the hill. It looks tough from here, but isn’t so bad, just less than 200 feet of climbing. If you want to do a shorter 2.7 mile route without the climb, make the right here and rejoin the hike directions later.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 14
Head left onto the East Ridge View Trail to climb to the viewpoint. The East Ridge Loop sign is what you want to follow to do the whole loop hike of Peters Canyon.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 15
The trail is steep but not that long.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 16
Don’t forget to turn around and take in the views. On a clear day you can see the high mountains of Angeles National Forest.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 17
When you get to the first little viewpoint, continue up to the left for the high point.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 18
Here you are, the highest point of the hike at 683ft.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 19
From the summit we’re going to continue hiking straight and down along the rolling features of the East Ridge View Trail.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 20
At the bottom of the hill, bear left.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 21
Which is followed by another quick left that puts you on the main drag along the ridge line.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 22
There are a lot of ups and downs on the East Ridge View Trail, with each one offering another great viewpoint. Here you can see the coastal mountains and buildings of Fashion Island in the distance.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 23
At the junction with the Scout Trail (to the right), continue straight.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 24
Hit the last few ups and downs of this trail before arriving at the lower end of the park.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 25
At the end of the East View Ridge Trail, bear right.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 26
The trail now turns into the Eucalyptus Trail and gently goes downhill in the shade.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 27
Soon you’ll see the Peters Canyon Trail in the distance below you. This is about the half-way point on the hike, and there are bathrooms here. At the bottom of the hill, make the right and hike up the Peters Canyon Trail.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 28
The Peters Canyon Trail is wide and gradual; there are no ups and downs here. You’ll also find some shade.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 29
At the intersection with the Scout Trail, go straight.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 30
And shortly after that make the left onto the Creek Trail.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 31
The Creek Trail crisscrosses Peters Canyon Creek on several boardwalks. It’s a great place for shade, quiet, and potential wildlife spotting.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 32
When the Creek Trail ends, rejoin the Peters Canyon Trail to the left.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 34
Continue straight on the Peters Canyon Trail. You’ll see the high point that climbed earlier off to the right.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 35
Make the left onto the Lake View Trail.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 36
Keep right and climb the short hill.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 37
You’ll go through a cool section of prickly pear cactus on the climb.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 38
At the top of the climb you’re rewarded with views of the reservoir. There’s a small viewpoint to the right but otherwise continue to the left.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 39
Soak in the views of the reservoir here, which is often filled with ducks and waterfowl.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 40
Continue on as the Lake View Trail winds to the right with a down and uphill section.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 41
On the downhill make the right onto the Cactus Point Trail.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 42
As the Cactus Point Trail starts, you’ll still see a sign for the East Ridge Loop, which is the overall trail that we’re following.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 43
This section of the hike offers some more views of the reservoir.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 44
The Cactus Point Trail comes back to the Lake View Trail; make the right here.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 45
From here until the end you can basically take any trail and finish. All the trails from here end in the parking lot.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 46
Soon you’ll see the parking lot in the distance.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 47
At the gate, once again, you can take the right or the left to continue on to the parking lot.
Peters Canyon Hike Update 48
And shortly you’ll be back where you started. That’s the hike!

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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