Explore the most popular walking trails in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great loop starting at Nix, up Sycamore and through Serrano. After the toll road underpass, it’s beautiful backcountry on Laurel. Stagecoach has some up and down switchbacks.
The Nix center is a great start & end. It was my first hike here and the friendly rangers mapped the route for me.

Great hike, bit of incline but other then that wonderful.

A fantastic trail right off the 133. Easy parking, $3 for the day. There’s a ranger station/visitor center right by the lot. Awesome & clean. Restrooms for use before you hit the trail. Once out in trail there’s a bit of a climb at the beginning and end but nothing too bad. The end elevation gain is probably the worse of the two. Nice view from the top once you get there.

This trail is awesome! You gain a lot of elevation in the beginning so be prepared for some serious cardio. There's a lot of elevation change with the rolling hills that span the entirety of the hike. There is a bunch to see and overall it's an amazing hike especially during May when it hasn't been too hot and the costal breeze is so refreshing. I traveled the entire 7.6 miles and man is it one hell of a work out especially with 26lbs on your back.

The views of the hike are pretty impressive and at times you forget you are smack dab in the middle of the OC. There's a good amount of scenery to look at and the costal overview is awesome!

More like a 6.5 mile hike. Lots of uphill at the beginning and end. Travelled counter clockwise which I suggest as there are a lot of loose rocks at the beginning. Happy hiking!

The lizard tail trail is a small segment of the hike shown.

There's a lovely incline at the beginning and not much shade through the rest of the trail. So many wildlife to see in the spring time! Careful for snakes though, almost tripped over one on the trail!

If you're looking for the cave it's going to be closer to the south end of lizard trail. If heading north, it's going to be on the left hand side. Be on the look out for the perforated side of the mountain.

hiking
22 days ago

Thanks

The best way, IMO, to do this trail is to start at blackjack (you’d be ascending the trail, rather than descending), and then take the ridge line trail and edison trail to the lake, then looping back via lake trail to the lot.

The view is nice (though you are right up against some houses), the climb up blackjack was a good workout , and there wasn’t a lot of foot-traffic.

Also, be aware of where you park, we initially stopped at Nix nature center (where apple maps took us), but you actually want to continue further south to the next lot (if you want to start at blackjack)

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike. Amazing views. The trail at the beginning goes down so coming back..... Your going up. But we did 5.5 miles and it wonderful. Lots of beetles, rabbits and road runners. Park by the soccer field and walk up to the trail.

Nice hike combining three trails. We saw lots of ground squirrels, lizards, and hummingbirds and had a garter snake cross the trail in front of us.

Great hike!

We started at Nix Nature Center and walked through the underpass to this trail. The views from the Ridgeline trail were amazing.

We went there on a weekend and were surprised to find out that parking across the street from the entrance was free! The first part of the hike was a little hard for me, beginner hiker, but not impossible! The views as you get to the top are breathtaking as you get to see the beach waves adjacent to the hills. It was also interesting to see the houses lining the top of the hills as you climbed. I’d definitely go again, especially with family or friends out of state as there are plenty of restaurants when you get back down from the hike at the beach.

Good first hike in Laguna. Nice views.

Lake was beautiful. Love that we could improvise the "inner loop" of this network. The descent at the end is made harder by the relatively poor state of the trail; especially after a recent few days of rain.

At least moderately difficult. Very steep first quarter mile or so

Did the loop of 3.9 miles. We went by Barbara’s Lake first which was nice scenery . The majority of the hike was pretty tame but we ended on a descent that could be described as moderate. Nice little trek for a Saturday morning and not overly trafficked.

We hiked here this morning and had an enjoyable time. We got started at 8 am and it was already bright and hot and felt like a summer day. The sign at the parking gate says they open at 8, but maybe since there was a line of cars waiting they opened up early at 7:45.

Parking is $3 but some losers vandalized/burglarized the kiosk so the rangers didn't have us pay, we just had to sign in. The helpful, energetic, knowledgeable female ranger working at the Nix nature center asked us how long of a hike that we wanted to do and mapped it out for us and gave us a lot of helpful info. that was appreciated. Great 1st impression.

We did Little Sycamore to Serrano Ridge to Camarillo Canyon to Stagecoach South back to the center and then we went under the 133 to see Barbara's Lake. The trail started off with incline but it wasn't too overwhelming. It is rather flat on Serrano Ridge and then some up and down the rest of the way. There are some nice views and greener and more colorful than we expected. The ranger told us that the lake is the only natural lake in Orange County...pretty cool!

The trails are well-marked and with the map it is easy to get around. There are people hiking/running and mountain biking but it never feels crowded. We did about 6 miles and it was a good workout that took about 2.5 hours.

Nice trail, some sections wide some single track. decent views of Irvine at the top.

We did Willow Trail first then headed down Laurel Canyon Trail. Willow Trail is not shaded and all uphill going this direction, so it was pretty difficult for me. I was feeling very out of breath when we made it to the top. Laurel Canyon down was shaded and very beautiful. Definitely enjoyed the second part of the hike more.

The parking lot at Willow was full when we arrived so we had to park at the next one down and hike up to the trailhead. Added maybe another mile to our hike.

Beautiful views towards the ocean. Very exposed so bring lots of water.

hiking
3 months ago

Great Trail. We started with Willow Trail and came back with Laurel Canyon Trail. Laurel Canyon seemed to be more difficult than Willow.

It was a great workout!! Uncovered trail so wear appropriate protective clothes. Gained great elevation with pretty steep hills.

No biking allowed on this trail.

This is a beautiful trail. Would recommend!

We were visiting the area and had a couple of hours to do this hike. There are some steep rocky inclines but the views along the way and especially along the top were worth it! Wear good shoes and bring water.

I enjoyed this hike. It was much more challenging than I thought it was going to be with all the hills. The first quarter of a mile was all uphill with many ups and downs the rest of the way.

The trail hardly had any hikers or bikers on it which was also a plus. Parking is $3 at the lot across the street.

Lots of cool birds for my friend. Not very much shade for me.

Very easy hike, nice trail to run on. Bring lots of water because theirs is NO shade.

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