6 Most Beautiful Places to Hike in Orange County, California

Juliet Bennett Rylah

Orange County offers plenty of natural splendor, from its breathtaking coastline to the wooded inland parks. Hikes for all skill levels will lead adventurers to hidden waterfalls, tree-lined paths, and wetlands teeming with animals. Here are six gorgeous Orange County trails just waiting to be explored.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is approximately 2,500 acres of pure beauty. Here you’ll discover 23 trails for hikers and bikers, although the popular Red Rock Canyon trail is accessible just to hikers. This scenic half-mile trail offers the stunning rock formations of its namesake, and is considered an easy trail. The other hikers-only trail is the nearby Billy Goat Trail, which is considered difficult.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, 27901 Glenn Ranch Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA USA

Red Rock Canyon

The Trans-Catalina Trail
Catalina Island, located off the coast of California, offers several hiking trails. The largest is the Trans-Catalina Trail, covering 37.2 miles and stretching across the length of the island. One difficult, yet picturesque trek begins at the Two Harbors campsite. Head south to Silver Peak Trail for the best views, then down over 1,700 feet to Parson’s Landing, a beachside campground. Just eight campsites are available, each accommodating up to six people. The entire trip is about 6.5 miles, and can take anywhere from three to six hours. Of course, that’s just one of several loops and quests a hiker might take on the TCT.
Trans-Catalina Trail, Catalina Island USA

A view of Parsons Landing
Caspers Wilderness Park

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach offers an easy, 3-mile hike through wildlife-filled wetlands. More than 200 species of birds can be found, making it a popular hike for photographers and bird watchers.
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, CA USA

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Alta Laguna Park
Also known as “Top of the World,” Alta Laguna Park in the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is known for its epic vistas. It’s a 2.5-mile round-trip hike for which the reward is unhindered views from all vantage points.
Alta Laguna Park, 3299 Alta Laguna Blvd, Laguna Beach, CA USA

Alta Laguna Park

Holy Jim Trail

The Holy Jim Trail
is 2.8 miles and is considered an easy to moderate hike. The key points of interest here are the area’s creeks and waterfalls. Although just 18 feet high, the falls aren’t that majestic, but are still very pretty. Dogs are allowed, if leashed.
Holy Jim Trailhead, Cleveland National Forest, Holy Jim Canyon Road, Corona, CA USA

Holy Jim Falls
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article