10 Best Hiking Trails Near OC

Ditch the flip flops and get ready to lace up your hiking boots. From picturesque views of the Dana Point Headlands to stunning red rock canyons of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, Orange County offers a trail for everyone. We have listed the 10 best hiking trails near OC for the beginners to the expert hikers in your family.

woman hiking Dana Point Trail

  1. Carbon Canyon Regional Park: Easy, 2 mile loop
  2. Santiago Oaks Regional Park: Easy, 3.5 mile loop
  3. El Modena Open Space: Easy,  2.4 mile loop
  4. Niguel Botanical Preserve: Easy,  4 miles out and back
  5. Dana Point Headlands: Moderate, 3 mile loop
  6. San Clemente Beach Trail: Moderate, 4.6 mile out and back
  7. Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park: Moderate, 4.25 miles out and back 
  8. Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park: Strenuous, 11 mile loop
  9. Saddleback Mountain: Strenuous, 15.6 miles
  10. El Moro Canyon at Crystal Cove State Park : Strenuous, 9.5 mile loop

Resources for Hiking in OC

Orange County is a very hiker-friendly place however there are a few things to know before hitting the hiking trails. Most trails offer little to no shade from the sun, during certain months, we strongly recommend hiking early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Many trails in California are home to plants like poison-oak, learn how to identify certain plants to avoid contact with these plants. When planning a hike in Orange County, it is always a good idea to check for weather conditions and trail closures. As a reminder, do not forget to pack the following:

  • Breathable hiking clothes and a jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Hiking sticks 
  • Snacks and water
  • First aid kit 

After a full day of adventure, unwind back at San Clemente Inn where relaxation meets the California coast. 



Searching for your next vacation…


Create ResorTime Traveler Account