El Moro Canyon Loop Trail

MODERATE 657 reviews
#1 of 28 trails in

El Moro Canyon Loop Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Laguna Beach, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
816 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

A trail that takes you through canyon and up to Moro ridge, with sweeping coastal views. The trail begins and ends at the El Moro Visitor Center. This loop gives you a tour of the El Moro Canyon, then climbs over 800' in elevation to the ridge line, where you'll enjoy some of the best coastline views in the park. Parking Fee: $15

hiking
1 day ago

Great views of Crystal Cove. Absolutely no shade, but we went on the perfect June gloom day.

Enjoyed taking the beach access trail/tunnel near the end. Great family hike but fake note of the weather.

5 days ago

Apple maps took us to the other side. Upside is we did not have to pay for parking. Coming back was brutal uphill. Maybe went the wrong way but total hike was about 8 miles. Great workout.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail. Scenic ocean and Laguna Beach.

hiking
11 days ago

4.5 because of the 15$ parking fee. great hike very enjoyable. only down fall is It seems as tho every annoying bug on the west coast lives at this park. great hike for getting into shape good elevations. as noted by others you will need lots of water.

hiking
15 days ago

First time hiking at Crystal Cove took the Moro Canyon easy hike. Absolutely beautiful views. The trail was easy enough for non-experienced hikers, but don't get me wrong it was an excellent workout and I broke a sweat. I will definitely be on this hiking path again. and will definitely try the other more advanced trails soon enough.

15 days ago

Lovely view of the beach on the loop back. Quite steep in some places, and gets a lot of sun exposure - would recommend going here earlier in the morning.

hiking
21 days ago

22 days ago

The views are absolutely stunning! But be prepared to hike steep to see them. Kid friendly if they are good hikers. My 5yr old was able to do it.

hiking
25 days ago

I have done every trail within Crystal Cove State Park & it is still my favorite place to bring visitors who have a hankering to hike.

There are lots of uphill trails which is always a plus for me. There are a variety of wide trails & single track trails (watch out for mountain bikers). This is also where I trained for a marathon I ran in Dingle Ireland because of the hills.

Unfortunately to hike on this side of the park it’s $15 to park, but you also have access to the beach.

Tips: bring sunscreen or a hat and pack plenty of water since there is very little shade; park on the backside of the park which borders Laguna Coast Wilderness Park if you don’t want to pay the steep parking fee.

hiking
25 days ago

Went later in the day on an overcast day, it was really enjoyable with some moderate challenge hills!

trail running
26 days ago

Cool trail. Nice view on the surrounding and ocean. Full of rabits.

hiking
28 days ago

Great ocean views, fairly steep inclines. We took the clockwise route around, so the way up was a moderate climb, saving the steeper parts for the descent.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s definitely pretty and the ocean views amazing. Lots of uphill though. Big disappointment in the description vs reality though. App says this trail boasts waterfalls, that is wrong. I chose it specifically for that reason and was quite disappointed to get there and hear there are no waterfalls as described.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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

hiking
3 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.

3 months ago

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
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

Nice views of the ocean. Plenty of incline to get in a great workout. Different route options to make your hike longer or shorter. And you can stop by the beach after your hike. Win win.

4 months ago

Good hike, but not a lot of trees. Good views of the ocean, but then not a lot else. Still, a good workout.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail for a clear day... one large hill but then fairly an easy climb down.

5 months ago

Beautiful ocean views. The first mile is all uphill so a little difficult. After that, it’s easy.

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