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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail

Huntington Beach, California

based on 3 reviews



2.97 miles

Elevation Gain

30 ft

Route Type



Added by The Outbound Collective

The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail is a 4.5 mile hike through the largest wetlands left in California. This hike is perfect for all skill levels.

The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail is great for birding and wildlife viewing. If you want a longer hike, you can extend the mileage by heading down the riverbed trail. The trail is open year-round. Dogs are not allowed in Bolsa Chica. 

Bolsa Chica State Beach is easily accessible from Orange County and is near Huntington Beach. Just north of Bolsa Chica is Sunset Beach, with lots of great options for breakfast or lunch. 

The parking lot has been known to fill up fast, so get there on the earlier side. 

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
ADA Accessible

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail Reviews

This place is my absolute favorite place for bird watching/photography. Always a unique selection of migratory birds coming through the area so its a true mixed bag here. The actual hiking isnt much more than a flat dirt path that follows the bluff for a half mile or so but theres enough ground to cover to keep you interested. As other reviewers have mentioned, getting there early is kind of important, as the parking lot is small.

The Ecological Reserve also known as the wetlands is across PCH from Bolsa Chica State Beach. The paths in the wetlands are stroller friendly, making it a good outing for the fam. Keep in mind, the reserve is not dog friendly. There is a gas station at the corner of Warner and PCH and a few places to get grab-and-go food in case you need to pick anything up.

Nothing strenuous, but just a great way to push the kids around and have a great few hours. There are educational signs telling you about the flora, fauna, and animals in the reserve and plenty of parking.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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