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El Moro Western Loop

Intermediate
 4.0 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great 7.5 mile loop that tours the western side of the park.


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Map Key

7.6

Miles

12.3

KM

91%

Runnable

836' 255 m

High

52' 16 m

Low

1,077' 328 m

Up

1,108' 338 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers

Trails close before, during, and after rainfall. For closures/conditions visit crystalcovestatepark.org

Overview

This loop uses several trails to make an excellent tour of the western park of Crystal Cove State Park.

Need to Know

Crystal Cove State Park hours are 6 am to sunset.
Parking fees are $15 per vehicle daily. Other rates or discounts may apply, check with the park for details.

Make sure you are done before sunset or they will give you $95 ticket

Description

From the parking area head north on No Dogs Trail, which becomes No Name Ridge at the intersection of Poles Trail. Ascend No Name Ridge Trail, pausing to enjoy the views behind you as you climb. At about 2.3 miles you'll reach a signed intersection. Turn right to head down Ticketron Trail to Deer Canyon Campground at the bottom of Deer Canyon.

Ascend the other canyon wall to the intersection with Red Tail Ridge Trail (left and heading north) and Rattlesnake Trail (right and heading south). Turn right to take Rattlesnake Trail south; this section of trail has amazing views of parks, hills and canyons up and down the coast. At about 4.4 miles the trail begins to descend back into Deer Canyon, quite steeply this time; at 5.5 miles take a left at the junction to head south on West Cut Across Trail. This trail terminates at the intersection with Moro Canyon Trail and Poles Trail. Take a right onto Moro Canyon Trail; careful not to take a sharp right onto Poles Trail. Follow this main trail, which soon turns into a fire road, back to the visitor center and the parking lot.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

Black sage, monekyflowers, prickly pear cactus, lemonade berry, and deer week are abundant.
A variety of birds, including shorebirds, may be spotted.

History & Background

This backcountry hiking area was originally used as grazing land by Mission San Juan Capistrano. The land was bought by James Irvine in 1864, and continued to be grazed until 1979, when the state purchased it to convert to a park.

Contacts

Shared By:

John McKinney with improvements by Micaela Holzwanger

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 5 votes

#3177

Overall
  4.0 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#481

in California

#3,177

Overall
24 Views Last Month
1,993 Since Aug 2, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

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
Hike trail doesn't start here.
Feb 15, 2021 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

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Dec 23, 2017
Zach Hodgson

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