Hiked: 11/22/2013 (x7)
Distance: 1.7 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 936' (Niguel Hill), 623' (Aliso Peak)
Prominence: 626' (Niguel Hill), 83' (Aliso Peak)
Elevation Gain: 530'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.42
Round trip time: 40 minutes
Recommended water: 8 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free at Seaview Park
I had much bigger plans for the day, but the weather vetoed those plans. The prior day brought in wide ranging storms that dumped rain in pretty much every direction and driving distance. Hiking for hours in the rain is not my preference, so I delayed any kind of long distance trip. Instead, I settled on a very short, very close, family friendly stroll to Aliso Peak overlooking the ocean. I didn't bother taking a backpack. I drank half a bottle of water in the car and took only my phone and GPS.
Parking is free at Seaview Park in Laguna Niguel on the right side of Talavera Drive. The dirt trail starts just before the gated Laguna Sur subdivision on the right. You start on Niguel Hill, then drop down to the saddle between Niguel Hill and Aliso Peak. In a few minutes, you ascend up to Aliso Peak where there is a bench if you have broken a sweat or just want to gaze at the ocean. It is not much of a work out, but at least there is a little gain on the return trip to wake up your blood. The 360 degree views on Aliso Peak are very nice, or would have been on a day with better weather. Because of the rain, it was muddy most of way. I saw three other people out walking their dogs, but none seemed interested in climbing to the peak.