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5 of the Best Trails to Hike in the OC

Summertime is just around the corner, and who wants to spend their days inside at the gym when the sun is out and shining? Grab your friends and family and check out one, or all, of these must-do hikes this summer season. Whether you prefer the beach, creeks, or waterfalls, there’s a hike for everyone in Orange County.

1. Top of the World
The Top of the World trail is located in Laguna Beach and is open to the public from 5am-1am seven days a week. The area spans 4,500 acres of trails, creeks, and canyons. Unlike normal hikes, the big challenge of Top of the World is that you start at the top and work your way down. The hike and its views are extremely scenic and there are several trails to choose from. The difficulty levels of these trails vary, making it a fun adventure for all.

2. Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park is also located in Laguna Beach and is open from 6am-6pm daily. On hot days, Crystal Cove State Park makes for an excellent hiking spot, as it’s near the beach with an ocean breeze. Multiple trails are also available here, many of which contain steep, mountainous sections. Despite this challenge, the views are amazing, especially if you go around sunset.

3. Peters Canyon Hike
Peters Canyon Hike is in the well-known city of Tustin and is open from 7am to sunset each day, and until 9pm during the summer months. With a parking fee of just $3, the regional park offers 340 acres of costal sage scrub, marshes, riparian, and grassland habitats. The trails offered are perfect for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians alike, their views consisting of reservoirs, groves of willows and black cottonwoods, a creek, and the beautiful panoramic view of Peters Canyon and beyond.

4. Turtle Rock Viewpoint Trail
The Turtle Rock Viewpoint Trail can be found in Irvine and closes at 10pm regularly. The trail makes for one of the shortest hikes in the area, making it a do-able hike for all ages, and lies close to the University of California, Irvine. The top provides a great view of Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, especially when hiked at night.

5. Black Star Canyon Trail
Black Star Canyon Trail is a very dog-friendly hike located in Silverado. With two different trails to choose from, the hike makes for about a 4-5 hour journey. Filled with sights of beauty and nature, the trail includes an infamous waterfall that’s best seen any time after a recent rain. Night hiking is not advised on the Black Star Canyon Trail, but many Orange County residents have stated that it makes for the perfect daytime adventure.


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