As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. guidebook!
Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
- Location: Laguna Beach. From the coast (Crown Valley Parkway), take a left on Pacific Island Drive, go 1.6 miles and take a left on Talavera. Take Talavera 0.3 miles to its end. From Laguna Niguel, take Alicia Parkway to Pacific Island. Head south on Pacific Island for 1.2 miles and take a right on Talavera.
- Agency: Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
- Distance: 2.8 miles (out and back)
- Elevation gain: 400 feet
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Difficulty: PG
- Best season: All year
- USGS topo map: “San Juan Capistrano”
- Parking is free; no permits required
- More information: here
- Rating: 5
This 623 foot hill towers above the Laguna coast, providing great ocean views, especially at sunset. The trail to and from Aliso Peak is a “reverse hike”, going down and then up. It is, however, unusual in that at the beginning of the hike, the peak can be seen from above. The steep trail to and from Aliso Peak is an example of a natural area in Orange County that is, for some, literally in their backyard.
From Seaview Park, follow the paved path to its end, where a single track trail begins a steep descent. Halfway down, the trail skirts the side of a residential street, and continues its descent to a saddle. The Toovet trail branches off at this point, and the Aliso Peak trail begins a short but steep ascent to the summit, complete with a bench. There are great views of the ocean. The return trip is a surprisingly strenuous workout, climbing relentlessly from the saddle before leveling out at Seaview.