5 Best Hiking Trails in Orange County

Chino Hills State Park © 2012, California State Parks. [Photo by Brian Baer]
Chino Hills State Park
© 2012, California State Parks. [Photo by Brian Baer]

After the unusual winter rainstorm, hiking is a great option to do in this weekend. Winter rains clear the air of natural haze, soil is moist and even the air is fresher. Here are the top five places where you can enjoy fresh air and clear view of the nature in OC.

1. Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

Take the entire family out on this 2-mile hike for nature-themed games and wildlife information. Popular trails are Aliso Creek trail, Wood Canyon trail, Dripping cave and Car Wreck trail.

Address: 28373 Alicia Parkway. Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
T: (949) 923-2200
Learn more: www.ocparks.com/aliso

2. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a 4.5-mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Huntington Beach, California. The trail offers a number of activities such as walking, jogging, bird watching and photographing. Nearly half of the birds found in the U.S. have been seen at Huntington Beach – visit in the morning or when the tide is receding, which are the best times to observe birds. The trail route toward south has many spots to photograph.

Address: 3842 Warner Avenue. Huntington Beach, CA 92649
T: (714) 846-1114
Learn more: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/Bolsa-Chica-ER

3. Holy Jim Trail

Holy Jim trail offers beautiful scenery with year-round shade. This 2.8 mile-trail located 2.5 miles from Trabuco Canyon Road takes 1 to 3 hours to hike.

Learn more: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/cleveland/recarea/?recid=47628

4. Chino Hills State Park

Chino Hill State Park makes it convenient for LA residents to be swept away with scenic vistas, hike, bike or ride a horse on over 90 miles of trails. The 14,102-acre park is managed as an open space habitat where all plant and animal life is protected. The park opens from 8 am to 5 pm and closes when it rains heavily.
Currently, Gilman Peak is accessible only through the Gilman Trail, Sycamore Trail, or McDermont Trail from the Telegraph Canyon Trail. The portion of North Ridge Trail is closed due to a severe erosion. Accessible routes to the trails are:

  • The park entrance: 4721 Sapphire Road (Elinvar Road) in Chino Hills
  • Chino Hills State Park Discovery Center- Brea: 4500 Carbon Canyon Road (State Route 142)
    Brea, California 92823
  • Quarter Horse Drive Trailhead – Yorba Linda : Fairmont Blvd. intersects Yorba Linda Blvd. between Imperial Highway and the 91 freeway

Learn more: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=648

5. Harding Truck Trail

This 9.3-mile-long and 4000-feet-high trail is adequate for mid-high level hikers. The higher you go, the colder it gets, so gear up accordingly. The course from Santiago Canyon Road to Modjeska Canyon Road offers great views of nature and wildlife animals. Picnic tables and the Goat Shack, where hundreds-feet deep canyons are spread out, are places to visit. A little farther up, you can see Santa Catalina Island, the San Gabriel Mountain Range, San Clemente and Malibu.

Learn more: http://www.summitpost.org/harding-truck-trail-main-divide/158294


Original article by Nak-hee Park
Translated by Narae Lee