Orange County has amazing weather, almost year-round. So it's no surprise that there are so many popular hiking destinations and trails throughout the county.
Whether you want just a short trek, a day-trip, or a longer excursion, the options are endless.
Two of our favorite Orange County hiking trails are located right here in Irvine and Newport Coast.
Hiking Crystal Cove State Park
From moderate to difficult levels of intensity, these trails wind through one of the few undeveloped coastal plots left in Orange County. Exploring the higher trails is rewarding because of the panoramic coastal views that wait at the end.
For the adventurer looking to spend a little extra time with nature, Crystal Cove State Park also houses several campgrounds, not to mention the prime beachfront a short hike away.
To access Crystal Cove State Park at the El Moro Campground and trailhead, take Highway 1 south out of Corona del Mar. Just after you pass Crystal Cove Shipping Center (home to the Bear Flag Fish Company and Javier's Restaurant), take the turnoff at El Morro Elementary on the left. Carry on straight for the trails, or turn right for the campground.
Hiking Shady Canyon Trail
Shady Canyon Trail also offers majestic views and connects to many other trail networks in the area, offering quite a bit of diversity for your adventure.
Shady Canyon Trail by itself is 3.85 miles and has separate bike and hiking trails. It is dog-friendly and is also popular for trail running. Many parts of the trail are even smooth enough for skating. While there are hills to challenge your workout the ascents are not as prominent as the trails in Crystal Cove. The trail winds through Irvine Ranch and offers scenic vista views, especially when crossing through Bommer Canyon.
The trail is most accessible off Shady Canyon Drive. Look for a small stone wall with a "Bommer Canyon" sign - you'll find a small parking lot just down that road, surrounded by the sweeping hills that you'll soon be enjoying up close. Other parking can be found at Turtle Rock Community Park or Shady Canyon Golf Club.
Other trailheads can be accessed at Sand Canyon Avenue and Quail Hill Parkway, and Bonita Canyon Drive.
More Info On Orange County Hiking Trails
For more information about these and many other hiking trails, try this helpful website: http://www.traillink.com/ Here you can search by city, zip code, or offerings of different parks/trails.Jacqueline Thompson on