Starting in February through the summer Orange County has some of the most amazing hikes… and a wide variety too. As the Spring and Summer months approach there are so many things to do in Orange County. From the easy ocean view hikes to the difficult mountain expeditions, you are guaranteed a scenic view of some of the most beautiful parts of Southern California.
Here are the top 4 best hikes in Orange County that will reward your efforts with amazing views. No, you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy them. The amount of available and beautiful hikes in Orange County definitely adds to the spoiled amount of nature southern Califnronians are exposed to.
Newport’s Back Bay Loop
This hike is extremely popular in Newport beach and leads a trail to loop around the Upper Newport Beach Bay Nature Preserve. It’s better known as Back Bay. The hikes offer 10.5 miles of exploration trails that can be traveled in foot, bike, or even on water. If you’re interested in birds, Back Bay is a great birding area.
This hike can be accessed by several entrance points. Upon entering the trails, make your way to Vista Points, which is approximately 2 miles in, from there you can decide to continue on or to turn back around. The trial itself is flat and smooth and has no technical segments, keep in mind that the trail is long though. If you like to bring company on your hikes this trail also allows dogs. As the temperatures in SoCal heat up you may want to bring a sunset because the trail offers no shade. While the trail is beautiful year round, you may want to take a trip in the spring when the wildflowers have bloomed!
West Ridge Trail to Top of the World
This popular hike is in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and will take you to some of the best 360 views of Orange County. The trail leads you to see an ocean and mountain view. The trail in and out is close to 5 miles and has the exact amount of hills to get your heart pumping, but not enough to deem this hike difficult. The trail itself is wide so hikers and bikers can share and leashed dogs can explore the trials with you.
While the views on this hike are extremely special, people deem the hike popular for the rest areas at Top of the World. The area contains benches and full restrooms. It’s a great place to relax when you reach the halfway point of the hike and allows you to take all the views in. Similar to the first hike that was mentioned, as the heat begins to grow, you may want to bring a sunhat because this trail offers no shade.
Badlands Park Trail
This extremely easy and dog-friendly hike leads hikers on a snaked trail behind the residential neighborhood and ends with views of Laguna beach and Dana Point. Throughout the hike you will get views of Table Rock and Thousand Steps but after climbing a small hill, hikers will be greeted with great views of Dana Point.
This hike is very easy and takes in total around an hour from start to finish. The trail has no strategic portions and offers smooth ground for dogs to take on the adventure with their owners.
The Sinks at Limestone Canyon
“The Sinks” are a must-see and are considered a hidden gem in Orange County! The Sinks are created by a geological formation that appears similar to the Grand Canyon. Some people actually refer to this area as the Grand Canyon of Orange County.
There are two areas that have the best views of The Sinks. One is the East viewing platform and the other is the West viewing platform. The hike to the west platform is approximately 7.8 miles but doesn’t have any difficult sections. The trails are flat and do have some shaded areas to rest here and there. If you would prefer to view from the East platform the hike is about an extra mile longer and does have some more difficult sections.
While all of these hikes offer amazing views of Southern California year round, the approaching Spring and Summer months will be some of the best times to get out and explore nature. The four hikes above are some of the best but there are so many more that offer an abundance of things to do in Orange County. Explore the beautiful trails of Orange County and reward yourself with some of the best views in all of SoCal in the coming months.
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