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
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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


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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

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