Featuring Southern California's premier hiking trails

Follow us!
FaceBook Twitter

El Moro Canyon Loop

Ranking :
County : Orange
City : Laguna Beach
Terrain : Mountain, Valley
Difficulty : Average
Camping : Yes
Fishing : No
Historic : No
Length : 9.00 miles
MountainRange : Unknown
TrailType : Loop
Access : Family Friendly
Water : Creek, Ocean
Exposure : Trees and Shady Areas - A fair amount
Description :
El Moro Canyon sits right in the middle of Crystal Cove State Park which is a beautiful 3,000 acre stretch of land along the Orange County coast between Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach. What I like most about this hike is that there is just so much diversity in terms of the area’s topography, geology, and lush vegetation. That, coupled with the ocean views, and I think it’s safe to say you’re going to really dig this place.

From the parking lot start heading inland (eastward) from the coast. As you start to gain in elevation, you’ll get some beautiful views of the green rolling hills with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. You’ll then descend down into El Moro Canyon where the plant life changes significantly and you have beautiful willow, sycamore, oak and other trees growing on the floor of the canyon that provide a lot of shade. In fact, the deeper you get into the canyon the denser the plant life gets. There are a couple shallow sandstone caves that you’ll want to keep an eye out for. What’s really neat about this hike is that there are a lot of these little hidden recesses and micro climates along the trail that have interesting rock structures and multicolored plant life that you’ll for sure want to explore. Towards the far end of the canyon you’ll start gaining in elevation relatively quickly as you come out of the canyon. You’ll then link up with Bommer Ridge Road and head south .7 miles to Moro Ridge where you’ll then head west towards to the coast. Along the ridge route you’ll get some great views of El Moro Canyon to the north and Emerald Canyon to the south. After 3 miles on the ridge trail you’ll take the “I think I can” east cut-across that will drop you back into El Moro Canyon. You’ll stay in the canyon heading west toward the ocean until you hit another connector trail that will take you back to the parking lot. Bring your GPS and follow the route outlined in our GPX download and you won’t get lost. Parking for the day is $15.

Directions :
Crystal Cove State Park is located off Pacific Coast Highway, about two miles south of the town of Corona del Mar or one mile north of Laguna Beach. Turn inland on the short park road, signed El Moro Canyon.