Willow Canyon Trail

MODERATE 82 reviews

Willow Canyon Trail is a 3.4 mile loop trail located near Laguna Beach, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and trail running.

3.4 miles
600 feet


trail running


no dogs

There is a $3 parking fee.

16 days ago

Took the shadier way up with the narrower roads which ended up being a great HIIT workout because of the steep inclines followed by flat roads. It was tough but it’s fine if you take breaks. No water through the streams though, but saw the Pacific Ocean. Came down on the windier steeper trail which ended up being an easy decline. Would definitely do again!

2 months ago

More of a walk than I hike. The majority of the “hike” is on a wide road that a car could drive up and there were way more bikers than hikers. Not much in the way of views either. Some cool rock formations were the most interesting thing. I was always waiting for something more. The loop took us about 1.5 hrs. I’m sure it would be much prettier in the Spring with the flowers blooming. This may be one of the better hikes in the area but it only gets 2 stars compared to other hikes I’ve been on around the world.

6 months ago

Been hiking this one since I was a kid. Great workout because of the incline and the plant life is beautiful. This is a go to favorite for us!

trail running
9 months ago

Excellent. Even on a hot day w/o any canopy. Went down Emerald Cyn Rd & up Old Emerald Falls Trail, got lost and went down Moro Ridge Rd rather than go back up to Bommer as I had intended. Was still worth it and what a run. FYI, Old Emerald Falls needs a lot of manicuring(workers were out today doing that) plus a lot of cactuses right up on the edge of this single track. Definitely do not want to MTB this trail as one will definitely end up with many a spike in their legs.

10 months ago

Great trail! Have seen a number of snakes on this trail.

trail running
10 months ago

Quad burner fire road climb to start followed by fun single track downhill through some shady spots!!!

11 months ago

It was fine. Good beginners' challenge. Looking forward to adding Lizard Trail onto it or Bomner. A bit crowded, but not bad. Again, it was fine.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Love the views and love the uphills that keep the momentum going! Wish it was dog friendly, but I understand coyotes are popular in the area and that would make it unsafe for everyone if dogs are around. I highly recommend this trail to anyone that loves a good nature hike!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Beautiful scenery throughout this very diverse trail. The route type changed 3 times; steep, mountainous incline to moderate rocky trail to flat plane. Signage is a bit tricky to follow so this app was very helpful. Great hike

Sunday, April 17, 2016

it was great but i believe it is more that 3.4 mile

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Challenging but fun hike! $3 parking. No dogs. Not much shade at all. Many branching trails making for lots of choices and a full day of hiking :)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The uphill hike at the beginning is the hardest part, hang in there, it's worth it! Views are beautiful and nice option if you don't want to go all the way to the end of the 133 for trails closer to the beach.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This is one of my favorite trails. Absolutely love the challenge at the beginning of the trail. Hiked this trails so many times. Sometimes 3 miles sometimes more. We've walked all the way to Laguna Beach, walked along the beach and back to the start of Willow Trail. I would highly recommend this trail. You have many options to connect onto trails that connect to this trail that could take you all the way over to Pelican if you choose. Hope to do this soon!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Just have to go to the top to see full views of the ocean. Take the wide trail up, narrow shadier trail down. About 5 miles round trip. It's steep going up so for tourists or those not in shape, not "easy." I jogged about half. Not crowded, easy to find. No dogs are allowed on any of the Laguna Wilderness trails FYI! 700 acres total, nothing new.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A lot of Narrow trails
Nice nature walk
Views of the 73 and surrounding landscape, no water views

Friday, August 14, 2015

Not much shade and indeed pretty steep if you follow Willow trail. I only saw one bike but lots of bike tracks so it must be popular.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It was a pretty nice hike

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Went up the Laurel Canyon side (the fire road) and down the Willow Canyon side (a relief to escape the bikes). The fire road is indeed steep (and exposed) -- ocean breeze at the top felt really good. Willow Canyon had delightful flowers and views -- better coming down, I think. Gnatcatcher flock in the willows at the bottom. Took this oldtimer more like 3 hrs.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Very steep, come prepared for this. Overall great hike. Definitely would recommend to others. Again , love the area.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Great hike with beautiful views. It is steep so you will get a great workout. It does get hot so bring lots of water.

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