Most people think of Laguna Beach as an idyllic, sun-swept, coastal town in SoCal with endless pristine beaches, but what is less known is that Laguna Beach is surrounded by more than twenty-thousand acres of pristine Coastal Wilderness, state parks, and designated county wilderness areas, all of which are connected by an incredible network of hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, and running trails.
Those areas: The Laguna Coast Wilderness (7,000 acres), Crystal Cove State Park (2,400 acres), and the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness (4,500 acres) are all accessible from the city of Laguna Beach.
Here's some of the best trails for hiking, biking, and running in each.
1. Mountain Bike Bommer Ridge & Emerald Canyon
An excellent starting point for the networking of trails in the Laguna Coast Wilderness, Old Emerald Trail to Bommer Ridge is a classic mountain biking, hiking, and trail running loop in the Laguna Beach area.
2. Trail Run Boat Road & Laguna Ridge
Another great series of trails in the Laguna Coast Wilderness, Boat Road and Laguna Ridge makes for a great loop with fantastic views up and down the coast.
3. Mountain Bike Bomber Ridge from the Pacific Ridge Trailhead
Akin to the "back door" of the Laguna Coast Wilderness, the Pacific Ridge Trailhead is the starting point for a whole network of trails in the interior of both the Laguna Coast Wilderness & Crystal Cove State Park.
4. Hike the Water Tank Trail
No visit to Laguna Beach is complete without a hike, run, or bike along the Water Take Trail. In spring the flowers are incredible, and the views are great year-round.
5. A Sunset Beach Run at Crystal Cove
It is hard to beat a great sunset run (can you feel those calves burning?), and Crystal Cove State Park has some of the best beaches in the area
6. Hike the B.F.I. Trail in Crystal Cove State Park
B.F.I. is an excellent gateway into the network of trails that Crystal Cove State Park features, and additionally, connects into the Laguna Coast Wilderness. But be forewarned: its name is well deserve and you're sure to get your heart rate up.
7. Hike Crystal Cove via the Loop Trail
The classic loop hike in Crystal Cove, featuring all that the state park has to offer. A great network of trails to run or hike.
8. Mountain Bike Car Wreck Trail through Aliso Canyon
The Alison Canyon & Woods Wilderness preserve has one of the best networks of mountain biking trails in Southern California, and perhaps none so (in)famous as Car Wreck.