Trail Run Project Logo

Crystal Cove Loop

  4.0 ( 20 ) Favorite


9.7 mile 15.6 kilometer loop
94% Runnable


Ascent: 1,081' 330 m
Descent: -1,081' -330 m
High: 1,011' 308 m
Low: 49' 15 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A gorgeous loop route with coastal/ocean views down into the canyon and back up and out.

Zander Göpfert

Features Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Dogs are not permitted in the backcountry. Camping is by reservation only. Open sunrise to sunset, check parking hours as they can be different according to where you park.


This loop makes for a terrific introductory excursion at Crystal Cove State Park. There is a great network of well-maintained paths and a few singletrack trails, too. Though long, this run samples everything Crystal Cove has to offer while starting above the park with beautiful ocean views, dropping into the canyon, and turning back just above the PCH.

If the length of this run is too much, use the West Cut Across or Poles Trail to shorten the route by almost 3.5 miles or explore the map and find your own adventure!

Runner Notes

This loop heads out on mostly doubletrack, dirt paths through the park. The first half of the route is almost entirely downhill, meaning the second half is almost entirely up. This is a beautiful area to explore with a number of other trails to consider adding on for varying route lengths.


From the trailhead at the top of Ridge Park Rd., start out on the Bommer Ridge Road following along the freeway. After just under a mile, look for the Red Tail Ridge trail heading to the right (south). Turn right briefly before heading left onto the only singletrack section of this run, Fenceline.

Follow Fenceline along the ridge before arriving back at an intersection with the Moro Canyon Trail. Keep heading south, toward the ocean, and continue onto Slow 'N Easy. Thus begins your descent into the canyon along the ridgeline. This doubletrack will bend to the east (left) and continue for a half mile until it reaches the Moro Canyon Trail once again. Turn right onto the Moro Canyon Trail.

Continue along the canyon floor, winding between the hills on either side for 2.5 miles, until you come to an intersection with the Poles Trail and West Cut Across. For a shorter route, head on West Cut Across for a ~three-mile return trip to No Name Ridge and the No Name Ridge Access Trail.

For this run, continue south on the Moro Canyon Trail for another 1.5 miles, reaching the low point of the route, just 50' above sea level. The trail will bend to the right (west), skirting a parking area and campground before arriving at the Crystal Cove State Park - El Moro Canyon Visitor Center.

From the visitor center, start your ~3.7-mile return journey up the west ridges of the park. Head north, starting on the No Dogs Trail. This will link up with the No Name Ridge trail, where Poles Trail also joins in. Continue the climb, up past West Cut Across to the No Name Ridge Access Trail, back to your vehicle.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Jan 5, 2019
Taylor Aballi
Jun 28, 2018
Armando Rivera
May 18, 2018
Joshua Linares
Sep 29, 2017
Jay Salazar
Nice steep hills...! 6mi
Apr 15, 2017
juan silva
10.1mi — 1h 40m
Feb 1, 2017
Richard Grafton
Oct 15, 2016
Fabian Solorzano
We took the lizard trail, it's a nice shaded one lane trail. 4.9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 20 votes


  4.0 from 20 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Run Rankings


in California


165 Views Last Month
4,349 Since Aug 26, 2016



No Name Ridge.
Oct 13, 2016 near San Joa…, CA
Cactus on No Name Ridge.
Oct 13, 2016 near San Joa…, CA
A snake cruising along the No Dogs Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Laguna…, CA
Rabbit off the El Moro Canyon Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Laguna…, CA
Overlook on the No Dogs Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Laguna…, CA
No Name Ridge Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Laguna…, CA


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running