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Best Easy Day Hikes: Orange County
by Randy Vogel (Falcon Guides)
This scenic hike descends the long, scenic ridge that separates Laguna and Woods Canyons. At the end of the ridge, you take a short loop hike into Woods Canyon before returning to the ridge trail and then back to your starting point. This hike has it all, including vistas of the Pacific Ocean from the heights above Laguna Beach and a visit to the depths of a coastal canyon shaded by ancient oaks and sycamores. Starting atop Alta Laguna Boulevard, you descend to the north along the West Ridge Trail as it undulates along the ridge separating busy Laguna Canyon from the quiet solitude of Wood Canyon.
Headed up to Alta Laguna park around 12:30, and after checking the nice coastal vistas, headed out along West Ridge. It is a busy trail with plenty of mountain bikers and hikers, but I can guarantee on clear day some sweet views, basically Santiago, Modjeska, Cucamonga, Ontario and San Antonio Peaks dot the horizon...when the Santa Anas blow this place will put on a show...today was a bit hazy. If you're up for it, I agree with another review and would have stayed in the canyon longer coming back up the Rock-It or Mathis Trail.
Trail was of moderate difficulty. Mostly flat and hard-packed with a steep winding trail into the canyon and a steep straight route out. Take the loop in a clockwise direction. If I was going again, I would strongly suggest by-passing the return portion of the loop and staying in the canyon for longer, returning to West Ridge as marked on the map.
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