Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in Crystal Cove State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A great hike! At the beginning it felt crowded but it got better the deeper you went into the park. Not as many flowers as you’d like due to dryness. I didn’t love all the mountain bikers on some trails. Not all of them were careful to warn you about them flying around the corner

Hiked from Ridge Park Trailhead to avoid paying $15 parking fee at Crystal Cove Visitor's Center parking lot. I completed the loop in clockwise direction and added in approximately 3 mile out and back hike on the beach via the underground tunnel under PCH. I had to take off my boots to wade through the tunnel which had 12"-18" of water in the tunnel. Did not see many wildflowers today. It is really starting to look dried out since there was so little rain this winter. An enjoyable hike. Not a lot of people or bikes on the trail but it was a weekday.

Intense but super fun! Best one in OC so far.

Man was this a work out. We chose to counter-clockwise and ascend the BFI. That was a challenge, but once we got past that it was a relatively moderate hike.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get much rain this winter, so it was a little on the dry side, but the wild flowers were blooming, and the rest of the scenery was still nice (can’t beat those views of the coast).

We did encounter a rattlesnake on fence-line trail, but it never got close enough to be a threat.

Would definitely do again, preferably after it rains

great hike right next the coast.

It’s moderate to hard, great workout due to all the hills.

Beautiful day on the hiking trails - Started on the No Dogs trail cut over to Ticketron to Fence Line to Slow and Easy to El Moro Canyon — 3.5 hours. Elevation climbed to ~1000ft., plenty of elevation variations but ending at El Moro trail is best because legs start to get tired. Definitely quieter on the Eastern side of the trails which is perfect! No snakes, whew! The $15 fee was a surprise but honestly it’s a very fair price to enjoy the hike and view.

This is a very good training run if you are looking for elevation gain and beautiful scenery. Can’t wait to run this again!

hiking
1 month ago

Very pretty views... great morning hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great, well maintained trails. The difficult trail is more, IMO, moderate. We find counter clockwise more strenuous then clockwise on this trail. Clockwise ends with a wonderful view of the ocean on your way down. Watch for snakes, look well ahead of you. We had one pass about 4 yards ahead of us.

We took the moderate path and loved it. Approx. 5 miles and it took us 90 minutes. The beginning was a good climb and then it got easier as we went along. Saw a few rabbits and baby snakes along the way. Nothing crazy though! Loved the views as you finish! Will only pay for 2 hours of parking next time.

Bugs... lots of bugs. Rare in California, but this place had them abundantly.... Nice views of the ocean.

hiking
1 month ago

Great work out. This loop has a lot if great hills to climb. Poles Trail is a bitch! Lol.

Not sure why it says $15 to park above-this is the back way to El Moro and you just park on street free.

hiking
2 months ago

Great place to hike!!!
We accidentally did the difficult course but was worth the reward at the end.
Warning for rattlesnakes. Some hikers reported one 30ft away from us on the trail but was gone by the time we arrived......phew!!!! Some narrow, sketchy areas on the tail end of the trail.

This was a great hike today especially after the rain.. If your looking to get a great workout in with some strenuous hills and open trails then this is the one to do. I actually used Strava to range the hike and it came out to to just over 9.5 miles. If you do the whole loop like I did then you will be very satisfied with it especially when the day is nice and it makes for great pictures when your along the PCH ridges.. El Moro Loop has some great views that overlook the ocean and you get some fresh air for sure.. The trail was very quite and peaceful, so if your looking to get away and decompress then this would be ideal. I will definitely do this trail again and maybe get a trail run the next time around!

Some challenging grades at the beginning of the trail. Views of the ocean and Laguna Beach at the top were nice. Second half of trail not a lot to see but a nice peaceful walk. No shade so I’m guessing it can get pretty hot in the summer! Bring a hat!

hiking
2 months ago

Very fun hike! It wasn't too hard and there was a beautiful view of the beach at the end!

So beautiful! Surprisingly steep areas, it takes a little practice not getting deviated on the paths. The map feature is priceless!

Many inclines but worth the hike. Great cardio workout!

Amazing view of the beach and cute art works when you enter the tunnel at the beginning of trail. Prepare yourself for a lot of inclines. Definitely worth the hike, though!

Love the hike (hate the $15 parking)

I have done this hike about 5 or 6 times. It is pretty easy to find. From PCH there is an entrance to the parking lot right by an elementary school (El Moro). There are 4 colored trails on the map to choose from. I have done all 3 except for the hardest one (the red). My favorite one is the yellow. It is marked as difficult but it isn't really that hard. RT is just under 5 miles and can be done in about 2 hrs. Be sure to go through the tunnel that goes under PCH and spend some time on the beach and the rocks. It is a beautiful place for pictures. The trails are well used but definitely not crowded and everyone is extremely friendly.

*this is more of a 4.5 star hike and would be a 5 if the parking was free or $5 or less

Good views, trail wide & well marked. Good for cooler days. Did it counter-clockwise, steep climb at the start, but glad we did it that direction.

Loved this trail. All trail mapping is fantastic. So many times I could got lost.

Very nice trail. Good hiking surface. Nice views of the ocean. Expensive parking $15. Quiet. Nice to get a way from the noisy awful coastal highway.

Great trail! It was a good cool day. Make sure you have plenty of water and some light snacks if you do the whole loop

Pretty busy. If you start on the north side the incline is very intense and long: my kids were not pleased (4/6) and had to be carried. Trail shoots up then drops down to a flat valley with lots of blooming poison oak right along the trail. State park should remove or control it (it’s everywhere).

It was such a beautiful hike! The only down part is that parking is $15 or I would be here every weekend

hiking
2 months ago

Nice family hike.

The most difficult part is crossing through Poles trail, which is a steep incline of just under half a mile. I would definitely recommend doing the trail counterclockwise, which would mean taking the incline uphill, but will give you a beautiful ocean view the rest of the way. Well worth the climb.

Awesome hike with different levels/paths to take. Parking is $15 and you can get a map to figure out which path to take (categorized by mile). Took the loop which is the second longest and moderate. Go early bc there is no shade. I started around 11am in Feb weather and it wasn't too bad, but summer weather would prob get really hot. Follow the instructions on the map and you'll finish with a nice beach view (start the loop clockwise). Fairly easy and def. made me want to the 9miles loop next time.

Wow! We opted for the 5 mile loop and added a climb on The Poles before descent to the parking lot. Super workout!

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