Newport Beach Back Bay Trail is a 10.1 mile hike featuring an estuary, a marsh, and lots of scenic birdwatching. Upper Newport Bay Ecological Preserve is easily accessible from the Newport Beach area.

The Newport Beach Back Bay Trail features beautiful wildflowers and is open for use year round. Very minimal elevation gain makes this hike food for all skill levels, but be mindful of the distance. Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be kept on leash. 

Cooling sea breezes make this one of the few treeless trails that is hike-able in the summer months in SoCal. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, strange vegetation (cattails, bay laurel, and papyrus) and fossils. Great Blue Herons, American Egrets, and Snowy Egrets stalk the horizon. 

Street parking near the trailhead is free.

Photos: Ken Lund and Sergei Gussev

Pack List

  • Water
  • Sunscreen, hat
  • Sturdy walking shoes or trail runners
  • Snack
Show More
RT Distance 10.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 547 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Bodysurfing and Photography at The Wedge

Beginning at the east end of the Balboa Peninsula The Wedge's main power house is the Newport Harbor Jetty. When the right south swell hits the jetty it reflects back creating a massive back wash.

286 Saves

Catch a Sunset at Newport Pier

Newport Pier is located just south of Huntington Beach at the center of the Balboa Peninsula. Balboa Pier, the more crowded pier of Newport Beach, is nearby to the south.

572 Saves

Boulder at Pirate's Cove

This is a great spot for bouldering in Newport Beach, CA with really easy access from the parking lot at Big Corona Beach or street parking above on Ocean Blvd.

376 Saves