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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.

Distance: 22.8 miles Elevation Gain: 456 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running


bird watching





wild flowers

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.

3 months ago

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

road biking
Thursday, November 23, 2017

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.

road biking
Wednesday, March 08, 2017

This used to be the premier bike trail in Orange County however it no longer meets that rating. Going north from Huntington Beach at about mile 5 you start to encounter homeless encampments. This persists until about mile 15. It is exceptionally bad from mile 11 to 13. The county is afraid of lawsuits from the ACLU so they permit a homeless encampment for approximately 10 miles of the trail. Expect to find the trail littered with trash, drug paraphernalia, used condoms, human excrement and homeless "possessions". It is literally lined by tents and make shift dwellings. I no longer recommend it family or friends. They are better off riding on streets than riding on the southern part of the trail. It is actually a nice ride north of where the trail crosses Lincoln Ave.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

First long drive .. thought it was hard but made it and enjoyed it very much .

road biking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

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.

Monday, October 03, 2016

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

horseback riding
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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

Thursday, March 03, 2016


Monday, May 19, 2014

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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

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.

28 days ago

road biking
1 month ago

road biking
2 months ago

2 months ago

7 months ago

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

road biking
Friday, January 05, 2018

road biking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

road biking
Sunday, August 03, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sunday, April 21, 2013

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