Summary: Sea breezes make this one of the few treeless trails that you can hike in summer in Southern California. Located far from the ridges, the flat expanses of the marsh do not, at first glance, seem like much of a place to commune with nature, but once you get up close you discover all kinds of wonders including waterfowl, insect life, peculiar vegetation, and fossils.
The trail as reported includes a side loop up Big Canyon, a eutropic arroyo where a pond is becoming filled up due to runoff from blufftop housing. You can lose yourself amid the cattails, bay laurel, and papyrus, allowing yourself the belief that you are far from civilization, perhaps somewhere in the Everglades. Great Blue Herons, American Egrets, and Snowy Egrets stalk the mudflats to the west giving joy to birders who bring spotting scopes in search of waterfowl and shorebirds.
Remember that this is "a multi-purpose trail" for hikers, bikers, and slow-moving autos.
Trailhead: From Long Beach: Take the 405 south to the 73. Take the Jamboree Road exit. Turn right.
From I-5: Go south on the 55. Head east/south on 73. Follow instructions at the end of this section.
From the south: Take the 405 south to Jamboree Road. Head south.
All routes: Turn right on Back Bay. Go past the Newport Dunes Recreation Area and find a place to park near the multi-use trail entrance.
If you wish to start at the north end, you can turn right on University and proceed about a block to an overlook at the corner of Back Bay and University. (Lat:33.62063 Lon:-117.89032)
Trail Guides for East Upper Newport Bay:
Afoot & Afield in Orange County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Coast Walks 150 Adventures Along the California Coast
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Upper Newport Bay Ecological & Nature Preserve, 949-923-2290
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joel Sax, who has posted 51 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by CDC on 9/2/2010
Unlike the first reviewer. You won't be sharing the trail with planes I hope...LOL Also, it is mostly dirt trails not paved(see Google maps 33.654, -117.886). The road bikers can not use these dirt roads, so don't go on the pavement. Trials have nice views and are fairly flat. Good year round.
Reviewed by Manny on 6/7/2008
Trail is good for people who do not want to leave civilization and dont mind sharing road with lots of people. Planes, cars, bikes and pavement. The scenery was pretty but it was all pavement and more than half of the bikers were rude. There were a few off pavement trails that looked like educational walks. These were the best part. My dog liked the trail but, again, half the bikers gave us dirty looks. Joggers and walkers were very friendly. The trail is right in the path of John Wayne Airport so every 10 minutes a plane flew overhead.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Orange County Hiking, Orange County Trails, Orange County Hikes