Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Activity: Day Hike
Date June 24, 2019
Distance: 5 miles, elevation change 900’, duration 2.5 hours, rated Moderate
This was my second hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The trailhead is at the Nix Nature Center where parking is $3. The nature center is nice, but we did not get to check it out as we had just enough time to get the hike in, but will spend some time soon.
The beach in June has a lot of marine layer thus the name “June Gloom”. The trail is less than 6 miles away from Laguna Beach, 10-15 minutes by car, but it was far enough way to have bright sunshine for the hike, and close enough that it was a delightful 70 degrees.
I followed the trail map in a clockwise direction starting on Stage Coach Trail South. I really liked the terrain, the rolling hills, the elevation change, and the scenery. However, in my opinion the first portion of the hike was a disappointment in that all of this beautiful nature was disturbed by the two busy roadways that the Stage Coach Trail South borders. I will say as the hike went on I got farther and farther from the sight and the noise of the highway and the bustling world I was attempting to escape.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has many connection trails so you can mix and match them to fit your needs. Next time I visit I will most likely leave the Stage Coach Trail out of my mix. It was nice, but when I go out into nature I like to see nature, just nature, and not busy thoroughfares.
I really enjoyed the rest of the trail and the coastal chaparral, shady oaks, hills and dales, and the views of distant mountains in one direction and the Pacific in another . It was a wonderful hike, and it left me wanting for more. There are more trails to explore and Laguna Coast Wilderness also connects to other wild areas that are not far off.
Please click on the pictures below. They all have captions.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
Trail Map for Little Sycamore Canyon Trail and Serrano Ridge Loop
I started the hike on Stage Coach Trail South doing the loop clockwise.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has a series of connecting trails, which as a matter of a fact also connect to other type areas in the OC. So you can hike or mountain bike selecting how far you want to go by putting together a route that has the length, scenery, and elevation change that you wish.
The area has rolling hills with fields of flowers, coastal chaparral, and oak trees.
The trail is well marked.
Wildflowers and blue sky.
Rolling hills, cactus and flowers.
Trails are big and wide in places and single track in others.
Most of the trail provides little cover, so bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and water.
I liked the rolling hills, the terrain, and the views of the trail. The one thing I didn’t enjoy was that much of the Stage Coach Trail South was in sight and ear shot of a couple major roadways. I think when I hike this area again I will adjust the trails that I select.
Here is a grassy meadow in the distance, but above that you can see a line, that is a highway. Nice area, but to noisy and not the peace and tranquility that I was seeking. However, later in the hike I got away from the hustle and bustle of it all.
Really a pleasant day.
Trails are big and wide in places and single track in others
The trail was going up in elevation and you can see it is a little more rugged.
In the area every so often they have these trail map signs. You can see here there are a lot of choices for your hiking or mountain biking pleasure.
Camarillo Canyon Trail
Nice rolling hills
There were four birds of prey soaring effortlessly on uplifting thermals, hawks I believe.
This view looks out over Orange County toward Newport Beach
Obviously I was infatuated with these birds of flight gliding along the ridge line in search of prey.
Another of my fine feathered friends.
Close up of the hawk.
Trail with the mountains off in the distance
Over hill over dale…
Hills, cactus, and distant mountains.
I am the sort of person that really wants to see just what is up around the bend, and felt cheated that I now had to head down. The parking lot closes at 5PM and I was pressed for time. So I headed down Little Sycamore Canyon Trail even though I know that there were view points ahead on Serrano Ridge. Next time…
No mountain bikes on Little Sycamore Trail. As you can see water drained down the hill during the rainy season and deeply rutted the trail. Plus it is tight with a couple tight turns in places.
Looking up at Serrano Ridge from Little Sycamore Canyon Trail
Sycamore Canyon has thick under brush, a lot of flowers, and there is a constant hum, but this time it is not the hum of traffic, as was the case early in the hike, but thousands of busy bees doing their job.
One of about four bridges I crossed. I suppose in the rainy season there is a lot of water in this area.
Busy little bees, but they don’t bother you at all, they are far too busy.
As I get close to the Nix Nature Center, where I am parked, this sign shows the different trails near the center. There are easy trails near the center so everyone can get a chance to enjoy.
“Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul.”
Thanks for joining me on this day hike Pursuing Balance Through Adventure, please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE or I will hunt you down and make you come with me next time, just kidding, or am I?