Several short hikes in Laguna Beach offer sensational ocean and coastal views.
Access Dartmoor Boat Canyon Trail in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park from the end of Dartmoor Street. Start up Boat Road, turn left on Guna Peak Trail, elevation 700 feet, and continue until unimpeded coastal views in both directions stop you in your tracks. It’s about a mile round-trip but there are spectacular coastal views to the south the whole way up. Bonus: You might spot the city fire goats “mowing” the brittle brush. Dartmoor Street and Dunnegan Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.923.2235, ocparks.com
From the Ranger Station at Crystal Cove State Park, head up No Dogs Trail just long enough to gain a modicum of elevation. Then, turn around for a transporting view of a home on a point overlooking Irvine Cove on one side, Crystal Cove State Beach on the other, and an endless expanse of the cerulean Pacific beyond. You might think you’re in another country. If you’re from another country, the scene might convince you to move here. 8471 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, crystalcovestatepark.org
Though Valido Trail is in Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, the start is actually between two homes, and parking is on a residential street. The hike is a mile round-trip. Elevation gain is 400 feet; the trail, bordered in sections by seasonally lush foliage, gets steeper as it goes. Cross a creek near the start; turn left at Aliso Summit Trail; and mount the log steps to the top of the peak, where a bench, and vistas up and down the coast, await. Valido Road and Toto Loma Lane, Laguna Beach, 949.923.2200, ocparks.com
Photos Benjamin Epstein