Instagram-Worthy Hiking Trails in Orange County

Orange County is home to some of the most beautiful outdoor and coastal activities in Southern California.

With plenty of ocean air and wide-open spaces, The OC provides outdoor hikers with beautiful options for hiking, walking and taking in the stunning scenery of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Buena Park and Newport Beach.

As spring warms up and the sun shines even brighter, hiking The OC’s parks, canyons and trails give you the outdoor fun and exercise that you’re craving after those long winter months.

5 Scenic Orange County Hiking Trails

Let’s take a look at some Instagram-worthy hiking trails for you to visit on your next trip to Orange County!

Bommer Canyon – Irvine

hiking trails in orange county

Rich in both Irvine Ranch lore and natural wonders, Bommer Canyon beckons walkers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts to stroll past ancient oak and sycamore groves and rough rock outcrops. Much like the city’s Quail Hill Loop Trail, specific trails in this area are open daily for self-guided hikes from dawn to dusk; however, other areas within Bommer can only be accessed through guided programs and do require pre-registration. Monthly Wilderness Access Days are available to allow hikers and bikers the chance to explore the network of outstanding trails and views of the area.

A wide variety of fun, outdoor activities are offered by the City of Irvine in partnership with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park – Laguna Beach

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park offers a number of active things to do outside, including mountain biking, trail running, and/or horseback riding through miles of beautiful Orange County natural lands. Artists, photographers and writers alike find plentiful inspiration on the trails.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park lies within some of the last remaining coastal canyons in Southern California. Forty miles of trails lead the visitor through oak and sycamore woodlands and up onto ridges with expansive scenic vistas. Rocky bluffs tower above the canyon trails.

Visit the park’s award-winning Nix Nature Center to learn more about Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and for trail information and orientation.

Mountain to Sea Trail – Irvine

hikes in orange county

Whether you travel by bike, horse or foot, you’re in for a spectacular outdoor adventure as you explore the 22-mile Mountains to Sea Trail.

Your journey along this 22-mile National Recreation Trail may begin with a docent-led hike or bike ride in rugged, oak-filled Weir Canyon Nature Preserve. The trail then takes you south toward the coast through five different cities and a portion of unincorporated Orange County — virtually guaranteeing that the only constant on this trek is an exhilarating change of scenery and topography.

The Mountains to Sea Trail is the backbone of the 50,000 acres of open space preserved on the historic Irvine Ranch. The trail was created through cooperative municipal planning so that people of all ages and abilities could experience the magnitude, magnificence and diversity of the entire landscape of the region.

Public trails start in Irvine Regional Park, and docent-led, scheduled activities begin in Weir Canyon.

Ralph B. Clark Regional Park – Buena Park

orange county trails

Ralph B. Clark Regional Park is nestled at the foot of the Coyote Hills. The 104-acre property extends north and south of Rosecrans Avenue with the softball complex. The parklands range from large open grass areas, to gently rolling hills of native plants, to sheer sandstone cliffs to the north.

A variety of recreational, outdoor activities are available at Ralph B. Clark Park. These include large shaded picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, and children’s playground areas. Team sports enthusiasts can enjoy spacious play areas including two sand volleyball courts, three softball fields and a baseball diamond. Children of all ages can enjoy fishing in the stocked three-acre lake. Four tennis courts are located within the park and an amphitheater which overlooks the lake is ideal for outdoor play and recreation programs.

Crystal Cove State Park – Newport Beach

places to hike in orange county

Crystal Cove State Park is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore. Its backcountry consists of 2,400 undeveloped acres of land, and over 15 total miles of trails. Trails are open to hiking, biking, and equestrian use, with a variety of difficulties from quick and easy to long and strenuous. There is no limit on things to do outside at Crystal Cove State Park.

Its coastal portion also features a 2.5 mile paved trail that runs along the bluff tops, perfect for outdoor fun, easy walks, and bike riding. This is also the only trail in our park in which leashed dogs are allowed.

Docent and staff-led activities are scheduled throughout the year in our park, such as full-moon hikes and bird walks. Dates for these events can be found on the park’s calendar.

Here in The OC, all it takes is a little bit of planning and some free time and you’ll be well on your way to experiencing some breathtaking outdoor activities. Take that first step today and visit Orange County this spring to experience these Instagram-worthy hiking trails!