Peters Canyon Hike
|In This Guide|
|Distance||5.9 miles (9.5 km)|
|Hike Time||2:30 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||650 feet (198m)|
|Highest Elevation||683 feet (208m)|
|Fees & Permits||Parking Fee|
|Park Website||Peters Canyon Regional Park|
This hike through Peters Canyon Regional Park is one of the most popular hikes in Orange County for good reason. The hike has everything: well-mantained 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.
The 340-acre Peters Canyon Regional Park has an interesting history. The lake in the park was once a reservoir that was used to irrigate James Irvine’s orange groves, and now drains out to Upper Newport Bay. In 1899 one of the first golf clubs in Orange County was built here. During World War II there was an Army base here, and after he war the Boy Scouts took it over. In 1992 the area became an Orange County park when the Irvine Company donated the land for public use.
Today Peters Canyon Regional Park is popular with hikers, exercisers, horses, and mountain bikers. Be considerate, keep your eyes open, and share the trail.
If California is in a draught, the Upper Peters Canyon reservoir will likely be dry. Don’t let that stop you, this is still a great hike. If there’s water in the reservoir, expect even more wildlife around. I’ve seen mule deer, coyotes, rattlesnakes, and tons of birds here.
Where is Peters Canyon Regional Park?
Use this trailhead address: 8548 E. Canyon View Ave, Orange, CA 92869.
This hike 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.
There’s a small fee to park. Print a ticket out at the kiosks in the parking lot, and leave it on your dashboard.
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.
Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
Great for all hikes – short ones to 10+ miles Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.
This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.
Joby tripods attach to anything. The legs are adjustable and grippy, so you can put them on trees, packs, rocks, whatever. And they work like regular tripods too. Works with everything from smartphones to DSLRs.
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 REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Website visitors get 20% off orders over $30 with the coupon code WEBFAN
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.
Peters Canyon Hike Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Peters Canyon Hike Directions
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Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
If you see trash on the trail, please pick it up and carry it out. Be a good egg and practice no trace principles.