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

Nearly 40,000 acres of open space on the historic Irvine Ranch have been designated a Natural Landmark by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior. This honor recognizes the exceptional value of these lands to California and the entire nation. This land is part of the 50,000 acres of permanently protected land preserved on the historic Irvine Ranch. The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks contain important natural habitats and unusual geological formations. The landscape is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including eagles, badgers, mountain lions, Tecate cypress trees, and many rare species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants. Scientists have identified this region as one of the world Hours: day use

Gated, as are many of the AllTrails suggested locations. So disappointing. Irvine is full of regulated trails, walk here, these hours only, by reservation only, no dogs allowed. California keeps everyone out of natural areas in an attempt to preserve them... while demolishing them and using the land to build miles and miles of new houses. What a pity. I need to move.

Get there early!! over 20 miles

mountain biking
3 months ago

Smell from the Garbage dump was strong on the climb up :(

We did the 9-mile loop, starting south, at 8:15am, going uphill for about 4+ miles which I would rate as moderate. Nice views from the different peaks along the ridge. We made it to the Limestone Canyon relatively easy. From there, it was an easy hike back to the parking lot. We finished at 11:15am.

Warning: finishing this hike requires a bit of experience. While it is a simple trail all the way through, the distance is a true test of mental and physical endurance. Don’t attempt this hike past 10:30 AM, or you will get stranded in the dark. This is one of the craziest hikes I’ve ever done, a total of over 24 miles from the beginning of Black Star Canyon and back. It’s a great route for biking, and an all-day adventure on foot. The views from the height are breathtaking, and it kind of amazes you how far up you’re really going. The last 3.5 miles after Beeks Place gets very elevated, and the inclines are no joke. Bring trekking poles, plenty of food and a lot of water. And don’t forget to stretch plenty before you try! Your calves and feet will get worked.

Beautiful hike up the mountain. Made it to beeks place and had to turn around because i feared i would be walking down in the dark. If you are trying to reach the top you have to leave no later than 10am

Great for trail running. Not much shades and very hilly.

just did it today super late start at 10. don't do that!. unless you want to come down with a headlamp and get phenomenal freaking sunset pictures!

Used to love these trails. Found this one recently but I’ve hiked Black Star and all throughout the canyon. Amount of houses that are being built are without a doubt takes the joy out of the hike all together. Trying to get one peace when I hike, no see houses and people. They also started planting their own trees and plants on the outside of the canyon so, extra took over by the suburbs.

Sun Sep 23 2018

The most unique hike in Orange County. The view of OC’s Grand Canyon at the end is worth it. The trail is mostly flat otherwise and you can only access it on special access days.

I can’t really say what this trail was like. I can say that you need to register online before trying to hike there. It gets good reviews but don’t bother if you haven’t registered in advance. It is a preserve and they mean it. Hopefully that means that there isn’t idiots smoking weed on the trails and tagged rocks everywhere

It’s an easy hike to the sinks...definitely worth doing! Lots of other options on open access day in Limestone.

volunteeer-led urban wild park hike with a group of 20. Great volunteers. Nice countryside and the limestone sink overlook is interesting. However, I prefer a less social hiking experience but that's not an option as the park access is regulated. Understandable, but disappointing nonetheless. Road noise as we hiked up the small ridge but that faded as we dropped down into the canyon on the back half of the loop. Personally I would rate this hike as easy.

If you'd like to hike this trail you'll need to make an advanced reservation for a guided hike, otherwise you'll be trespassing to reach what's known as Orange County's Grand Canyon (The Sinks). The various hikes offered are quite long and challenging, typically between 7-13 miles round-trip featuring different scenery and different viewpoints. You'll need to pre-book your hike at least a few weeks in advance as there are very limited spaces available, usually 20 people per hike. The link to book these hikes (among others in Orange County) is: https://www.irlandmarks.org/activities

CLOSED: the trail marked above is now closed. You can’t access it from Santiago Canyon Road. If you go in without a permit you can get fined. Land conservancy volunteers are fast to enforce this.

Not bad. Nice 3 to 3.5 hour loop. A few steep hills but not too much. A lot of pretty trees and live oak. We came I. October I bet it’ll be a lot prettier in the spring time

There is a fork in the trail that takes you to a cave with a small waterfall.

nice hike. good views

Great view. Most is open field hiking. Great for kids. Not recommended on hot days.

It's a real shame that his park is only open on certain day with limited time because I really wanted to get some pictures on this park on a sunrise or sunset. Limestone canyons are a bit overrated. It was really difficult to see and take pics due to the 20 person limit on a small lookout. The rangers strictly enforce this.The trail through Limestone Canyon road is really flat, lacks shade, boring and follows the road on the first half so you always hear traffic . Better using a mountain bike. Family friendly though. Most of the park is not covered in Limestone rock but was very green and there were lots of flowers. Hiked 11 miles from Augustine staging area through Sand Trap Trail, over Loma Ridge road and back down. Really long. I would recommend taking the Loma Ridge up first as this offers better views and is a better fit for more athletic hikers.

Sun Dec 06 2015

This was an easy 7 mile hike. We took limestone canyon trail which was pretty flat to the sinks. Enjoyed the view and snacks!

What a beautiful nature preserve. Only open once a month. Great area of the state. Home to large % of animals and plants on the entire planet. Crazy

Limestone canyon is one of the small percentage of land that hosts one of the widest ranges of plant and wild life. You can see Catalina Island like its a next door neighbor to socal coast line. Another great off-road trail offered in southern California

Docent led trail ride. The trail is closed to the public except for these rides and then one day a month open to the public. The docent led ride was nice as we were the only group on the trail except for one that was heading out on foot. The docent led rides keep you at a walk. Decent ride and wildlife abounds. Wasn't my favorite trail, but not bad.

Sat Feb 02 2013

Very intense beginning! Just when u think your at the top, your not! But worth seeing the sinks and the hike back was a nice mellow downhill stroll.

Two words. Effing Brutal. I suggest living in the alps for 3 months before doing this hike :)

1 month ago

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