When Laguna Beach comes to mind, most people think of the gorgeous sandy shores, blue waters, sunny skies, and the relaxed beach town. I picked Laguna Beach as my destination for a quick weekend babymoon with all of those in mind, but also due to the abundance of breathtaking hiking trails in the surrounding area. The sheer number of hiking trails is crazy! The hardest part of planning my trip was choosing which trails to hike.
Since I think hiking in the hills is just about the best way to see Laguna Beach, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite trails with views of the trip. Keep in mind that these are more easygoing walking trails than true hikes, all the better for taking in the scenery!
Top of the World
The Top of the World Trail network is by far one of the most widely recommended trails in Laguna Beach. The views from the start of the trails are incredible. There are miles of hiking trails or you can cheat and just picnic at the viewpoint from where the trails start. Even the drive up the windy roads from Laguna Beach into the residential hills is worth visiting for. The only downside is that the trail maps are a bit confusing. We ended up just going out and back on a few different trails instead of doing any of the big loops. You’ll also want to be mindful for snakes – we came across a rattlesnake in the middle of the trail! While many people noted that these trails can be very crowded, we didn't think so at all, and we were there on Memorial Day Weekend.
Aliso Summit Trail
The Aliso Summit Trail is a bit tricky to find as the entrance points are all in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but it also has amazing views. The other fun part about this trail was passing all the houses – they had amazing vistas from their porches! The trail is not a loop, so you have to hike it out and back. It seemed like more of a neighborhood walking trail and was very quiet, like a hidden gem!
While the trail at Badlands Park is more of a short walk than a hike, the jaw-dropping views make it worth mentioning. Going out and back on all the parts of the trail will only add up to just under a mile. This would also be a great place to picnic. Had we had more time before our flight, I would have loved to bring breakfast up here on our last day. This trail is also only about five minutes from the Aliso Summit Trail, so it’s easy to combine the two trails into one trip.
Note that parking for many of the trails in the area is limited to residential streets (which is perfectly acceptable unless you see a sign noting otherwise). Also, beware that in the spring and fall the weather can feel drastically different if you are in the shade or wind, so dress accordingly. I was often chilly one minute wearing my pullover, and sweating the next!