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Newport Beach – A Hiker’s Haven

June 30, 2020

From the calm landscape of the Back Bay to the dramatic coastline along Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach offers some of the most ideal hiking trails along the Pacific Ocean. With a moderate climate year-round, the diverse terrain and scenic landscape offers a variety of workouts to hikers of all levels. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with nature – the views, the refreshing ocean breeze and the fact that these are all socially-distant is just the icing on top of the cake.

Balboa Island Loop

Miles: 2.5 (loop)
Difficulty: Easy

Stroll the perimeter along one of Newport Beach’s most popular islands, Balboa Island. This paved path around the border of Balboa Island offers views of the island’s cottages and serene Newport Harbor. Unfortunately, the path is not bike or skateboarding friendly but it’s great for building up an appetite to dine at one of the restaurants along Marine Avenue. If your sense of adventure is high, take the Balboa Island Ferry across to Balboa Village for more exploring!

Balboa Island

Castaways Park

Miles: 1.3 (loop)
Difficulty: Easy

Views, views, views! This paved, flat trail is located on the bluffs above the Back Bay with amazing views of the bay and beautiful homes the entire way. Castaways Park is family friendly, dog friendly and social distancing friendly. Along the way, you will reach a memorial dedicated to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines (1/1) to honor those who have served the United States.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Miles: 3.5 (loop)
Difficulty: Intermediate

Filled with diverse plant and animal life, the 3.5-mile leisure loop along the bluffs of the scenic Back Bay is perfect for joggers, walkers and bikers. Families with little ones will enjoy the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center with an observatory deck and plenty of interactive exhibits. Those looking for more of a workout can opt to do the full 10.5-mile loop around the Back Bay.


Crystal Cove State Park: Oceanfront Bluffs

Miles: 6 (roundtrip)
Difficulty: Intermediate

Crystal Cove State Park boasts three miles of dramatic coastline with tide pools and rocky coves. Along the cliffs, there is a path parallel to the ocean that is perfect for hiking and observing all of the natural beauty Newport Beach has to offer. After, walk down to the water to spot sea urchin, starfish and many more creatures who call the tide pools home.

Crystal Cove State Park: El Moro Canyon/Moro Ridge Loop

Miles: 9.5 (roundtrip)
Difficulty: Hard

Up in the canyons of Crystal Cove State Park, this challenging trek has an elevation gain of 900 feet and a variety of trails intertwining to make your trip longer and harder. The highlight of this hike is when you reach the peak at Emerald Bay Overlook. The rest of the hike is downhill with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes and pack plenty of water, SPF and snacks.

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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