hiking

views

nature trips

no dogs

wild flowers

birding

trail running

walking

wildlife

mountain biking

forest

beach

kid friendly

camping

Crystal Cove State Park’s rolling surf, wide sandy beaches, tide pools, gently sloping hills, and deeply wooded canyons and ridges provide a delightful contrast to its urban surroundings. Located off busy Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore. The Crystal Cove Historic District is a 12.3-acre coastal portion of the 2,791-acre Crystal Cove State Park. The federally listed Historic District is an enclave of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built in the 1920s and 1930s nestled around the mouth of Los Trancos Creek. It is one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California coastal development. The park features three miles of Pacific coastline, plus wooded canyons, open bluffs, and offshore waters designated as an underwater park. Crystal Cove is not just used by people who enjoy water related activities, such as swimming, surfing, sunbathing, scuba and skin diving, but also people who like to fish, mountain bike and hike. The great expanse upland, north and east of the Pacific Coast Highway is for hikers, who can follow hillside and canyon trails to campsites that allow visitors to feel they are "away from it all," despite being near one of the greatest population centers in the United States. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park. The park is open from 6am to sunset. No pets allowed.

Obviously a popular place to go! Quite a few people sharing the trail on the way in but drops off the further you go in and becomes more secluded. 0 shade so make sure to bring proper sun protection. The hike back up through Rattlesnake Trail is the best part. Some "mini scrambling" and cool places to rest for 5 mins and enjoy the view. Not my favorite hike in the area but still worth the outing :).

hiking
4 days ago

It was amazing view! We loved this trail and will come back for the ocean view for sure! We hiked 6.2 miles for 2 hours!! Early morning is recommended as there is not much shade or canopy.

Great workout, watch out for flies on the uphill climb. Views are pretty sweet.

Love this trail- great hills for the hikers and plenty of running trails for the runners.

hiking
18 days ago

Great work out with some challenging inclines. Watch out for mountain bikers on the narrow fence line trail portion of the hike. Bring a hat and plenty of water.

hiking
24 days ago

Wonderful hike! Not too crowded and the trail was wide enough for bikers to easily pass. If it wasn't overcast, I'm sure the ocean views would have been amazing...I will have to come back again!

I love this hike for the following reasons:
1. It close to home - anywhere in south LA County or Orange County.
2. It is near the beach, so great views and bonus of spending part of the day on the beach after the hike.
3. Trails offer a variety so you can get the work-out you desire: short, long or difficult.
4. Choice of 4 campsites if you want to stay overnight.

walking
25 days ago

Beautiful views of the ocean, but also the street. Nice easy walk great for kids.

Easy beautiful trail, part goes on a paved road, the other part is on the beach which is a good balance. Parking rate Mon-Fri after 5 pm - $3.

on El Moro Canyon Loop Trail

1 month ago

Beautiful Mother’s day hike

I didn't do quite this exact trails, but very similar. We started at the Los Trancos parking lot ($15), crossed PCH and took the paved path down to the side of the golf course. This part of the hike up on the cliff has some pretty views and lots of bathrooms along the way. There are plenty of spots to head down to the beach, but if you keep walking until you get to the golf course before you head down, you can see the cool Monterey Formation geological features and explore your first batch of tidepools! From there, we walked along the beach, peering into tidepools and crossing over some rocks along the way. Make sure you go at low tide to be able to cross all of this, or you may have to head back up to the cliffside and take a different beach access point down. We head down the beach until we just passed the Historic District and Beachcombers, stopped to look at the tidepools there, but honestly, got annoyed with the OC crowd (everyone was complaining really loudly about absolutely everything!), so we headed up the stairs in the Historic District, walked back along the cliffs back to Los Trancos.

A nice little beach walk, not strenuous at all. Got sweaty at the end as the morning started to heat up, but overall a very easy hike! (No dogs allowed! We saw one lady with her dog up top, but there are signs at all the beach access points that say no dogs.)

I did this trail in the late morning into the afternoon with plans to stop at the Beachcomber for lunch halfway through. It definitely took longer than expected to get midway but well worth the wait. If you want to do the same bring a back pack with a bathing suit and cover up and a credit card, so you can enjoy the restaurant/bar and lay on the beach.
However I should have ate less at the restaurant because the steep hill shortcut back to where we parked the car was not ideal on a full stomach. We ran out of time and had to cut the rest of the hike short.
Overall, gorgeous views and a nice breeze. But definitely not “easy.” I would say easy/moderate.
I didn’t realize the lower part of the trail is on the actual sand. Walking on the sand isn’t easy in my opinion. But a nice change of pace from your run of the mill dirt road trail.
Also there are plenty of bathrooms which is nice.

I saw a coyote pup and a rabbit while hiking on the trail. Beautiful views with well maintained dirt roads. Up and down steep hills all along the way. Bring plenty of water - a great trail for running!

Great hike, not too difficult. Only one uphill stretch otherwise very straightforward.

Great trail but that Poles section was tough! Bring lots of water, there is no shade on this trail!

no shade. nice view of the ocean.

A bit crowded, but it is summer here, so its to be expected.

trail running
1 month ago

Beautiful view! I went yesterday with my husband to see the sunrise around )5:20am) and was worth it. Quit, peaceful and with a great great view. I also enjoyed staying down the beach after jogging in the trail, was so romantic.
Best time to go is before the sun come out to avoid the hit !
Highly recommended

We live local and access this trail a couple of times a week. It is comprised of both narrow and wide trails. On weekends you will encounter a significant amount of hikers and bicyclists, and parking is limited. Along the trail you will see multiple types of shrubs, weeds, and cacti.The hike climbing back down to the lower parking lot and from Moro Ridge is the most beautiful. You have sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean , and on a clear day you can see as far north as Palos Verdes, San Clemente Island to the West. Along the trails you will encounter numerous birds, rabbits, and occasionally snakes ( rattler, king, and gopher ). If you have an entire day, bring a cooler and your lawn chairs, and after the hike you can access the beach through the pedestrian tunnel. This beach is rarely busy (due to limited parking) and is unparalleled in beauty. If you still have energy though, you can meander north on the sand for about a mile to the Beachcomber Restaurant. Fresh food and libations. I would recommend the Pim Cup.

Nice views. Very warm on the trails and on the beach.

Great hiking trail with multiple hills and great views of the Pacific Ocean. This is our go-to hike near our home in OC.

hiking
1 month ago

Great moderate hike, some of the inclines are a bit challenging but totally worth the views at the top. We took this counter clockwise and would definitely recommend doing the same so that you are rewarded with the breathtaking views at the end! Loved this hike and will be back for more in Crystal Cove!

The beach was very pretty and there was a lot of interesting rocks at the reef point area that resembled the millennium falcon. In the tide pool area there were an abundance of crabs, alive and dead. It’s a good walk for people who like the beach and some history.

Nice trail, has only one strenuous-ish ascend, the rest is pretty much easy/moderate. Saw a pack of coyotes who were scared off once we approached, lots of bunnies and birds. There were beautiful mountain views at the top and right before the descend (we went clock wise). Parking is $15 for the whole day but there’s a sunset rate from 5pm till sunset which is only $5. Saw a tow truck on the way back right before sunset, I guess they do enforce their parking policy. Definitely recommend and will come back.

Beautiful and challenging

We went to this trail at one of the hottest days in this summer. It is not an easy hike in the hot weather plus an exposed trail. However, an occasional ocean breeze is pleasant. We finished the 5 Miles within 2 hours! A nice Sunday work out!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views of the ocean...beautiful 2 hour hike

So far the best hike ever! Hiked the ELEVATOR! It was a beast so make sure your on beast mode when you take it!!! We even seen a huge deer! I highly recommend this hike if you want a challenge. We did 9.1 miles in 3.22 hours. Via No Name Ridge to Moro Ridge to Elevator.

Is a great work out ! No shades but nice view! ! Highly recommend

Amazing place

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