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Family Hiking at Laurel Canyon Trail in Laguna Beach


My family loves to be active. We cannot sit inside for too long without craving some adventure in the great outdoors. Last weekend, we took a short drive to explore the trails along Laurel Canyon Trail in Laguna Beach. With the weather cooling down in Orange County, this is the *perfect* time of the year to enjoy hiking with your family.


Laurel Canyon Trail is a very family-friendly trail. It is located just a few short feet from the corner of Laguna Canyon Road and El Toro Road. If you are coming down the 133 (Laguna Canyon Road) toward the beach from the 405 or 5 freeway, it will be just a few short feet away on the right after passing the El Toro Road signal.


Parking can be tricky when visiting the trails along Laguna Canyon Road. It is a dirt paved parking lot that fills up super fast. (Then you have to park along Laguna Canyon Road – that is not super safe for kids to cross) If planning a visit – we always make sure and get there right when the trail opens at 9am. (Plus it will be cooler for the kids to walk along the trail when there is a slight marine layer)


Ghost Rock that your kids will get to see on the trail


A tree branch we found along the trail that looks like an animal

What my kids love about this trail is all the giant rock formations. Although, they would love to climb all over them, you can get a ticket for getting off the trail (we have seen families get them), so we don’t recommend allowing your children to climb on the rocks.


There are two trails that leave this parking lot: Laurel Canyon Trail and Willow Canyon. If you have older children, they I recommend taking Willow Canyon (straight ahead) and following it up the hill, and then come down Laurel Canyon Trail (total 3.7 miles).


If you have younger children, stay on Laurel Canyon Trail (straight to the right – over a small bridge). It is a very flat trail for at least a mile, and a lot of great things for your kids to explore. There is ghost rock, a real earthquake fault line, lots of wildlife and more! If you have little kids, and are walking along Laurel Canyon Trail – once it starts to incline uphill – turn around. Once this trail begins to include up the hill, it is very rocky, and hard for kids to keep their stability.

Enjoy a fun morning exploring Laurel Canyon Trail in Laguna Beach this weekend!

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  1. This is SO helpful, Shelby! Thank you for the great tips! We just went on our first family hike yesterday from one of the AV parks and learned a few things the hard way. 😉

    • Yes, some of the hikes are not the best for little ones..but your kids will really enjoy this hike Michelle! Have fun.

      • Which hikes would you recommend for older kids (teens) and adults?

  2. Hello I need to know what types of rock cycle in Laguna beach laurel canyon (ghost rock) and what kind a history behind it. thank you

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