By VacationIdea Dream Vacation Magazine

Orange County is blessed with great weather and spectacular diverse natural surroundings that range from mountain ranges to the coast of the Pacific, so it's no wonder that hikers have a huge number of opportunities to explore nature, challenge their fitness, and enjoy magnificent views. Many trails start in the urban areas and quickly bring hikers to a completely different world of peace with nothing but the sound of birds and the wind. Most trails are open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.

1. Quail Hill Trailhead

Quail Hill Trailhead
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The Quail Hill trailhead is located at one end of Sand Canyon Road and this is where the Quail Hill Loop Trail starts. This moderately difficult 9-mile dirt trail goes up the Quail Hill through the scenic wilderness area and you will quickly gain 1,702 feet in elevation. The view from the top of the hill goes all the way to Palos Verdes. You can bring your dog on the leash. Browse girls weekend getaways

34 Shady Canyon, Irvine, CA 92603

2. Ridgeline Trail

Ridgeline Trail
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San Clemente's Ridgeline Trail is a fairly easy paved 4.7-mile round trip hike along a ridgeline high above the city of San Clemente, with an elevation gain of 1,545 feet. The trail starts at the end of Calle Cordillera and follows the ridgeline until you reach the water tower, which is the turnaround point. Enjoy the views in all directions - towards Dana Point marina, the Santiago and Modjeska peaks, and sometimes even San Clemente and Catalina Island. The trail is pleasant all year round and you can even take your dog with you.
 

3.Sitton Peak Trail

Sitton Peak Trail
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Sitton Peak is a fantastic place to get a wonderful view of the entire Cleveland National Forest. The trail is 10 miles long, moderately difficult, and will give you a nice workout with the elevation gain of 2,150 feet. At 3,273 feet above sea level, Sitton Peak has 360-degree views of the Cleveland National Forest, the expanse of the ocean, and Catalina Island on a clear day. Starting as a single-track path, the trail later follows various double-track fire roads. The last bit before reaching the peak will force you to scramble a bit and the trail is fairly overgrown, but the view from the top is worth it.

Sitton Peak, CA 92530

4.Panhe Nature Trail

Panhe Nature Trail
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The Panhe Nature Trail is an easy 1-mile hike, almost flat, perfect for taking a family for a walk through beautiful elderberry trees, coyote brush, and sage. Keep an eye out for the animals that live in the lush environment - rabbits, coyotes, bobcats, and, on rare occasions, the elusive mountain lion. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. The trail starts at the San Mateo campground and is very close to the San Onofre State Beach. To extend the walk, take a 1.5-mile trail that will bring you to the surfer's Trestles beach. You can spend the night at the Cristianitos or the San Mateo campground.

Panhe Nature Trail, CA 92058

5.Chiquito Falls Trail

Chiquito Falls Trail
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The Chiquito Trail to Chiquito Falls is an 8.7-mile intermediately difficult loop trail located near Lake Elsinore. You will gain almost 3,000 feet in elevation, but you will see not only Chiquito Falls, which are your turnaround point, but also the smaller San Juan Falls on the way. The trailhead is located near the Candy Store on the Ortega Highway, where you need to purchase a nature pass since you will be hiking through the Cleveland National Forest. The trail up to the San Juan Falls is often busy since it is so close to the highway, but the rest of the way to the Chiquito Falls goes through the lovely shady oak forest and you will enjoy the peace and quiet.

34040 Ortega Hwy, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

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