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Irvine, California

The Quail Hill Loop in Irvine, California is a top-rated hiking trail for outdoor adventurers. This 2-mile trail offers scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Ana Mountains, and the unique rock formations of Laguna Beach. The trail is considered moderate in difficulty, making it a must-visit for both novice and seasoned hikers. Another notable outdoor attraction near Irvine is the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve. This preserve is a haven for bird watching and offers kayaking and paddleboarding on the bay. For a more relaxed outdoor activity, the Orange County Great Park Balloon Ride offers panoramic views of the Irvine landscape. These are just some of the best trails and outdoor activities in and near Irvine, California.

Top Spots in and near Irvine

  • Newport Beach, California

    Newport Beach Back Bay Trail

    4.0
    10.62 mi / 499 ft gain
    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 th...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Bommer Ridge from the Pacific Ridge Trailhead

    7.54 mi / 394 ft gain
    The Bommer Ridge West Trailhead aka The Pacific Ridge Trailhead begins at the edge of Ridge Park Road, overlooking CA State Highway 73, and marks the northwest entrance to the Laguna Coast Wilderness and its neighbor, Crystal Cove State Park. From the well-marked trailhead follow the trail south...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Explore Deer Canyon

    6.9 mi / 1489 ft gain
    The Deer Canyon Loop Trail is an easy drive from Orange County and Newport Beach. In the spring, wildflowers are abundant along the trial. This is a favorite spot for trail runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. The trail is kept in great condition year-round and is very wide. There is very little...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Stand Up Paddle around Balboa Island, Newport Beach

    5.0
    Balboa Island, located in Newport Bay, is a fun destination on its own, but add a relaxing SUP to the mix and you’ve got yourself an adventure. There are two ways to get onto island: cross the Marine Avenue Bridge, or take the Balboa Island Ferry (directly inland from Balboa Pier and south of New...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Boulder at Pirate's Cove

    4.0
    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. There are not clear signs to follow, but it is easy to find from the parking lot at Big Corona - it is on the far west side toward the h...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Bodysurfing and Photography at The Wedge

    4.8
    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. When the back wash hits an incoming set you have the notoriously heavy wedge-like shore break thunde...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Arches at Little Corona del Mar

    4.9
    Little Corona del Mar Beach is a secluded beach located on Poppy Avenue across Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar. Known as one of the less crowded beaches in the area, this spot is the perfect place to chill for the day or photograph a sunset. You will find plenty of free street parking in the ne...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Newport Pier

    4.9
    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. Thanks to the awesome weather of Southern California, there’s no reason this beach can’t be enjoyed all year long, which means...
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  • Orange, California

    Crystal Cove Beach Loop

    5.0
    5.13 mi / 151 ft gain
    This is a favorite morning or evening hike, run or stroll. Park in the lot with a state pass, head down the cliff and back, and you'll get an amazing workout. Tip: Time your outings for low tide as there will be more beach to walk on.
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    El Moro Canyon Trail to Lower Moro Campground

    3.5
    6.37 mi / 997 ft gain
    Located off of Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach is Crystal Cove State Park. There are three primitive sites located in Crystal Cove: Deer Canyon, Upper Moro, and Lower Moro. The site I stayed at was Lower Moro campground. All three of these sites require the backpacker to hike everything in...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Hike Willow Canyon, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

    5.0
    6.7 mi / 1208 ft gain
    This hike has been a must do since I was young. Do you love scenic views of the ocean and wildlife? You'll see plenty of both, from hawks searching for food to squirrels and deer running through the brush. This is my favorite route in this area but there are plenty of other trails to shorten or a...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    El Moro Canyon Trail

    5.0
    4.94 mi / 814 ft gain
    The trail features a waterfall and is open year-round, but is best used in the spring. Remember to bring $15 cash for the parking fee. The Laguna Beach trail is shared by trail runners, mountain bikers, hikers, and the occasional horseback rider. Dogs are not allowed in Crystal Cove State Park. 
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  • Aliso Viejo, California

    Top of the World via West Ridge Trail

    5.0
    4.76 mi / 443 ft gain
    Directions to get here are pretty straight forward via the map. You park your car in a residential neighborhood along the street, and from there, you can't miss the entrance. The trail is paved for the first 100yds or so and after you make a right turn at the top, you'll be on dirt and sand the r...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    B.F.I. Trail in Crystal Cove State Park

    5.0
    0.78 mi / 125 ft gain
    To get to the trailhead, enter Crystal Cove State Park through the Crystal Cove El Moro Campground entrance immediately next to El Moro Elementary School. Follow the road behind the school which leads to the main gate where you will need to pay a day-use parking fee of $15. Drive past the Campgr...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Crystal Cove Loop Trail

    4.0
    4.05 mi / 676 ft gain
    The trail begins and ends at the El Moro Visitor Center. Parking requires either a $15 day use parking pass, which is available in the visitor center. This hike we are focusing on is called the Difficult Loop Trail and it is the third most difficult trail the canyon offers. You take Moro Canyon,...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Photograph the Pacific Coast Highway over Crystal Cove Beach

    4.4
    To get to the bluffs overlooking Crystal Cove State Park Beach to the south, you'll need to pull off onto the side of the Pacific Coast Highway *before* Morro Ridge Road.The easiest and most obvious turnoff is on the right side of the highway southbound, just past the "Adopt a Highway" sign and w...
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Camping and Lodging in Irvine

Coulter Group Campground
Palmdale, California

Coulter Group Campground

Meadow Group Campground
Palmdale, California

Meadow Group Campground

Bandido Group Campground
Pearblossom, California

Bandido Group Campground

Jackson Flats
Azusa, California

Jackson Flats

Lake Campground
Valyermo, California

Lake Campground

Mountain Oak
Valyermo, California

Mountain Oak

Guides, Insights and Stories from Irvine

The Best Views in Laguna Beach

The Best Views in Laguna Beach

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The Top 4 Places to Explore Tide Pools in Laguna Beach

The Top 4 Places to Explore Tide Pools in Laguna Beach

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Why Laguna Beach Is the Ultimate Summer Destination

Why Laguna Beach Is the Ultimate Summer Destination

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Loco Laguna: 7 Videos of Wild Adventure in Laguna Beach

Loco Laguna: 7 Videos of Wild Adventure in Laguna Beach

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Laguna Beach's Top 5 Trails for Hiking, Biking, and Running

Laguna Beach's Top 5 Trails for Hiking, Biking, and Running

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5 Must-Do Adventures in Laguna Beach, CA

5 Must-Do Adventures in Laguna Beach, CA

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