Laguna Coast Wilderness Park lies within some of the last remaining coastal canyons in Southern California. Forty miles of trails lead the visitor through oak and sycamore woodlands and up onto ridges with expansive scenic vistas. Rocky bluffs tower above the canyon trails. Visitors to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park can see California as it has existed for thousands of years. The Coastal Sage Scrub community covers hilltops and slopes, along with patches of Native Valley Grassland and Maritime Chaparral. In the canyons visitors can find riparian habitats lined by Willow, Oak, and Sycamore trees. After a plentiful winter rain, the ephemeral streams spring to life. In the summer, you can easily pass through the seasonally dry creek beds. The park is part of the Natural Community Conservation Planning program, which is designed to protect rare and endangered species, from California Gnatcatcher to Orange-Throated Whiptail, by preserving large tracts of Orange County.
Good 8-mile hike, lots of mountain bikes on Saturday.
If you stay to the right and take the ridge trail you can make the hike about 3 miles. Take the black jack trail to get to the ridge. Very steep and narrow path up river rocks but smooth mild hike after that. The lake had ducks in it and everything was green. Beautiful views of the snow capped mountains. Thankful for all the recent rain.
Nice easy wide trail with smaller side trails that are apparently more difficult but were closed today because of all the rain in the past week making the trails too wet and slippery. My 3.5 year old toddler was able to hike for 1.5 hours without problems. Watch out for a lot of mountain bikers riding fast! Also watch out for VERY LARGE POOP throughout the trail of some sort of animal other than a dog. Loved this hike and will do it again!
Overall a great experience. Ocean views for the majority of the hike. No trees, though, so it is quite sunny and hot the entire time. The trails intersect and are a little confusing to follow, but regardless of the trails you take you get a similar experience. Slightly busy but not too bad. It is as hilly as described-there are more than a couple of steep inclines.
A great way to spend the morning.