“A gorgeous loop route with coastal/ocean views down into the canyon and back up and out.”
— Zander Göpfert
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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!
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
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.