Memorial Day Sale! Get a year of AllTrails Pro for only $14.99
Get Started

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Loop

easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(466)
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Loop is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Newport 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 but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 226 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no shade

Just about the only vivid shades of green that you will find during California's summer are to be found in the few remaining natural estuaries. The Irvine Coast Trail (ultimately linking UC Irvine by way of San Diego Creek) follows the north bank of upper Newport Bay providing intimate glimpses of a salt marsh ecosystem. Pickleweed and eel grass fill the low flats. Willows, sycamores, and invasive Brazillian Pepper (do not touch!) cover the ground between the dry coastal sage habitat (distinguished by its grasses, buckwheat, and, in some places, cholla cactus) and the salt marsh. Bring binoculars or spotting scopes for a good look at the rare California least tern, skimmers, Great Blue Herons, white pelicans, snowy egrets, and savannah sparrows. Fall brings the best variety of migratory wading birds and ducks. The scenery may not be the best, but the riot of nature that goes on year round makes up for it.

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail, super easy and kid friendly. Early morning was busy but the temps with some May gray was wonderful.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a delightful hike along Newport Beach’s Back Bay. It is nice to get out into nature, stretch your legs, and enjoy a morning or afternoon walk. For my Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Trip Report with story and pics GO TO https://orangecountyhiking.home.blog/2020/03/14/upper-newport-bay-ecological-reserve-loop/

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Crowded

hiking
bugs
private property
2 months ago

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Nice easy walk.

Very nice area if you’re looking for an easy, quiet day outdoors. You can see a lot of wildlife, especially birds. There are some hiking only trails and paved paths which cyclists and equestrians can also use. A lot of joggers on the paved path as well. It seems that some of the trails are occasionally closed or relocated for different restoration projects since I couldn’t follow the path outlined on AllTrails exactly. I would go back for a low key cycle or if I feel like nature watching.

Trail is great for a mellow power walk.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Nice easy trail. Good for walking or going for a short trail run.

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

Lots of bikers. No shade. Easy. Horses. Birdwatching.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful!

hiking
no shade
over grown
8 months ago

It was an overcast day so the temperature was pretty good. If you start before 8am, the sun wont be totally out for a couple of hours, you'd enjoy the trail more. There is NO shade the whole way. Put sunblock on :) after 10am. This is an easy trail, no elevation to speak of, easy and flat most of the way. Lots of people, bikes, and some horse riders too. Everyone was courteous. Nice hike. Part of the trail is paved, part dirt path. So be prepared your shoes and legs/pants will get very dusty.

hiking
no shade
off trail
9 months ago

This hike offers winding dirt trails that run parallel to a paved path. The view of the preserve is beautiful and there’s a lot of small wildlife to see like rabbits and lizards. The trails are not shaded so beware and wear sunscreen! Also long workout pants may be helpful for trails that have overgrowth.

hiking
9 months ago

Relaxing and good views

running
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Love the Back Bay. There are dirt trails and asphalt trails..great place.

11 months ago

Great easy trail and well maintained

hiking
11 months ago

Good hike for beginners.

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
11 months ago

Great loop for training, walking, running, cycling, and even a quick trial ride in your whip. Great for brisk mornings!

hiking
no shade
Tue May 28 2019

hiking
no shade
Thu May 23 2019

Great trail/s. Lots of paved / unpaved routes to bike or walk.

Showing results 1 - 25 of 465