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Santa Ana River West Trail is a 22.8 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Huntington Beach, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 22.8 mi Elevation gain 456 ft Route type Point to Point
Dog friendly Wheelchair friendly Kid friendly Stroller friendly Hiking Mountain biking Nature trips Road biking Walking Bird watching Running Beach Paved River Views Wild flowers
Description
Waypoints (24)
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Tips

Start your ride at the beach and head toward the mountains on this superb multi-purpose trail for all ages & abilities. You would think that traveling from the beaches of Huntington and Newport to the Chino Hills would be a tough workout. But surprisingly, the elevation climb of west to east was easier than vice-versa. But more on that later. The best route for starting this trail is from the Huntington Beach Trail to Weir Canyon Road. You will notice very little difference, exertion-wise, when going either way on the trail due to the winds usually blowing west to east. So you've got elevation gain going west to east, but you're bucking headwinds going east to west. So it's a wash. Even on the weekend, this trail isn't nearly as crowded as its sister trail, the Huntington Beach Trail. But if you want a relaxing and leisurely journey, your best bet is to ride the trail on a weekday. Either way, you'll love the fact that you don't have to spend any time crossing or riding on a road. The trail burrows under all roads as it wends eastward towards the source of the Santa Ana River. Since the elevation change is nearly imperceptible, you can enjoy the Santa Ana River Trail with nearly any non-motorized mode of transportation. It is quite enjoyable on foot, by bike, on a recumbent, a Trikke (best going east to west), a 3G Stepper, or inline skates. The most common type of bike found along the trail was a simple one-speed cruiser followed closely by road bikes, then mountain bikes. People seemed equally comfortable on all three. The cruiser works especially nice if you plan to combine the Santa Ana Trail with the Huntington Beach Trail. Each trail has its defining characteristics and the abundance of flowers alongside the trail was one of the outstanding characteristics of this particular trail. This is especially true in the spring where reds and yellows line the trail with drought-tolerant floral arrangements climbing the walls and hugging the ground. A true botanist would delight in noticing the change in flower varieties from the coastal type along the beach trail to the inland flowers found further east. Another interesting feature found the length of the trail is the channel of the Santa Ana River. For those of us used to seeing rivers in their wild state, the Santa Ana riverbed is a stark and interesting change of scenery. To control flooding the riverbed has been channelized to the extreme with large portions of the riverbed completely encased in concrete. Finally, numerous parks, side-trails, and nature centers dot the landscape of the trail providing resting spots and wonderful diversions. One children's play area, called Moon Park, even has a replica of the moon for kids to play on. It comes complete with craters and a simulated lunar surface. Of course this is in addition to the abundance of playground structures found at many of the parks. And for the weak of bladder and strong of thirst, there are numerous restrooms and drinking fountains along the path. One of the finest and most unique characteristics of the Santa Ana River Trail is its proximity to the seashore areas of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. If you get too hot, want to play in the surf, or just have a craving for a corndog and milkshake, you can just head on down to the ocean for a complete change of pace and scenery. It's also nice to have lots of options for rental bikes and other trail toys that are found at the beachside stands in the two oceanfront towns. Whether you're a hard-core road biker or a laid-back cruiser, you should find the trail of your dreams in these southern California communities.

- Rent a cruiser bike in Newport Beach or Huntington Beach. - Try this trail in the spring if you want to see miles and miles of colorful blooms along the path. - A little courtesy goes a long way. Gently notify other trail users that you will be passing them by an "on your left" or a short ring of your handlebar bell. - You will find numerous clean drinking fountains along the route, but pack water anyway, just to make sure you have plenty. Shade is scarce on this trail.

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Reviews (88)
Photos (183)
Recordings (88)
Completed (164)
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Michael Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Road bikingGreat!

Simply awesome! For the avg cyclist away from home, it was nice to catch a 23 miles ride to the beach, paved and or asphalt, no traffic to deal with. I parked at Yorba park, a good headwind all the way to the beach but looked forward to the ride back. At the beach I went 7 miles north for an out and back total of 60 miles. This was a Friday afternoon, starting around 2pm. A little warm to start but temps dropped as I got closer to the beach. Was not crowded and did not see many homeless. Some sections with trash but didn’t prevent my enjoyment.

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Denny Truong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
Road bikingBugs

My longest ride to date, don’t be like me at start at 11pm haha. Sketchy people on trail but I kept to myself and no one ever bothered me. If you are a female do not do this trail alone at night. You’ve been warned.

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Jesus Monreal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 15, 2020

amazing trail. started in Yorba Linda , finished in Hunting Beach. Our walk clocked in at 28miled not including the times we went off trail. Fun and easy trail , just make sure you have some good walking shoes your feet will thank you! Wasent to hung up on water and snacks since we could easily go off the trail and buy food.

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J Hernandez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 28, 2020
Mountain biking

Nice trail

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Julio Fassino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 11, 2020
Mountain biking

Part bike path and dirt trails, ponds off the beaten track, Talbert Park.

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Kathy O'Connor-Phelps
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2020
Road biking

Decided with all the trail closures due to virus craziness I would try some road biking. Planned on doing from downtown HB to the 22 but continued on to meet my friends further up. Ended up doing to Mile 23 and then back - a total of 53 miles for this first timer!! Even though it was hard (well brutal actually) on the way back because of the wind and my lack of water and snacks (stupid) caused some severe cramping in my quads, I absolutely loved it! So much I think I may purchase a road bike very soon. The trail was not that busy considering everyone is a biker, hiker, and walker now during covid-19.

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Anthony B. Classik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 17, 2019
Road biking

Amazing breathtaking views. Easy and relaxing trail. Went half way turned around because of time but will definitely do it again!!

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Cindy Hsu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 14, 2019
Hiking

It’s quiet and clean trail. No parking lot so have to look for street parking.

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Jenny Gritton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 23, 2017
Road biking

The number of stars I want to give this trail really depends on which part of the trail I'm rating. I start from Orange/Anaheim and either ride south or north/east from there. Going south to Huntington Beach you run into some head winds which makes things difficult, but my biggest issue is the miles upon miles of homeless encampments that really drag down the aesthetics of my ride. I don't feel unsafe, I just feel uncomfortable. The rest of the ride down to the beach is a bit dull until you get close enough to see the ocean. Once I get to Huntington I like to turn right and head up the Huntington trail along the coast. I much prefer to ride north/east, especially up past Lincoln in north Orange. Again, right where I get on in Orange/Anaheim I have to ride through a considerable stretch of homeless encampments, but once I make it to Imperial Highway there's water in the riverbed and even a fair amount of wildlife. I usually get off at Yorba Regional Park and turn around, but it's still pretty going to the end of this stretch of the trail. Overall, I like this trail because it's straightforward, accessible, completely separated from motor traffic, and long enough to get a good ride. I just wish more of the trail was aesthetically pleasing! I'm not asking for much, just something better than run-down tents and an empty concrete riverbed.

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Brandon Colombo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 23, 2016
Road biking

Started in Corona, CA off of Green River, road down the Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington beach and up the boardwalk to Goldenwest ST, turned around and road all the way back. Total of 67 miles in 4hrs15mins. The ride is amazing, large variety of scenery from desert, to beach, creeks, and grass parks. You also ride past the Anaheim Stadium and Honda Center. If you live in the local area you should try this ride at least once. You won't regret you did, unless you're out of shape like me, lol.

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Sloppy Joe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2016

if it k the Santa Ana river its just the river trail street to street or city city makingnitnharder to find trails

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Bazorkazork Bazorkazork Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 26, 2016
Horseback riding

done this.headwinds.are.crazy from Honda center down holy shot good run tho

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Dimitri Maraletos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 3, 2016

Amazing!

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Ty McMullen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 19, 2014

Exhausting May want to have a ride home. But very fun.

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Shana Gonzalez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2013
Hiking
First to Review

A long paved trail that you can start from Green river in corona and take all the way to the dog beach in Huntington beach. You can do both ways there and back on a bike, but if you're not used to long rides it can leave your bottom pretty sore. It was a fun ride. Not difficult, just long.

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Mrk F
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
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Mrk F
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
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Lisa Oberlander
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Road biking
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Lyly Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Hiking
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Isaac Owusu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 14, 2020
Road biking
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Kali Walters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking
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ZH Hadzismajlovic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking
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Williams G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking
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Shanie Holman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Road biking
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Tony Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Road biking
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Debra Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
Road biking
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Scott Syverson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 24, 2020
Hiking
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Mike Peternell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 12, 2020
Road biking
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Michael Torres
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
Road biking
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Debra Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 30, 2020
Road biking
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