Text and photography copyright 2011 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.
Boat Spur to Bommer Ridge (Laguna Coast Wilderness Park)
- Location: The end of Dartmoor St. in Laguna Beach. From the 73 freeway, take the MacArthur exit (the last one before you have to pay a toll) and head south for 3.2 miles. Turn left (south) on Pacific Coast Highway and go 5.8 miles to San Joaquin St. Turn left and take a quick right on Hillcrest, and make the first left onto Dartmoor. Drive 0.3 miles to the end of the street and park by Gate 14 to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.
- Agency: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
- Distance: 4 miles
- Elevation gain: 950 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – June
- USGS topo map: Laguna Beach
- Recommended gear: sun hat; sun hat
- More information: here
- Rating: 6
This challenging hike enters Laguna Coast Wilderness Park from the southwestern corner. The elevation profile is similar to (although somewhat milder than) the nearby Laguna Bowl Loop, and this route has more solitude, plus better views of the coast.
From Gate 14 at the end of Dartmoor, head uphill on a fire road known as the Boat Spur, taking in nice ocean and mountain views as you go. Stay straight at the first juncture you come to, and in 0.7 miles, you arrive at Boat Road. Take a right and head north along a rolling ridge. Straight ahead, you get great views Old Saddleback and (on clear days) the San Gabriels. On your left is isolated Emerald Canyon in Crystal Cove State Park, and on the right is Boat Canyon, where you can spot some interesting geology if you look carefully.
After 1.3 miles on Boat Road, during which there are a few steep stretches, you arrive at Bommer Ridge. To get a great view, make a quick right and then left, and head uphill to a flagpole where you can sit and enjoy a 360-degree panorama. You can extend your hike on Bommer Ridge, but if you’re ready to call it a day, this makes a good turnaround spot. On the way back, the ocean views are particularly good.