Sunday, October 13, 2013

Laguna Coast Willow Canyon to Old Emerald Falls Loop

Hiked: 10/13/2013
Distance: 6.4 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 986' (high point on ridge)
Elevation Gain: 1361'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 1.08
Round trip time: 2 hours
Recommended water: 40 oz.
Parking/Fees: $3 OC Parks
Difficulty: Easy

The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has several entrances. I started this loop on Laguna Canyon Road just past El Toro on the right side of the road (heading toward Laguna Beach). Officially, it is Gate #6 on the map. I followed a balloon shaped loop using the following route:

Willow Canyon to Bommer Ridge (turn left)
Bommer Ridge to Old Emerald Trail (turn right)
Old Emerald Trail to Emerald Canyon (turn right)
Emerald Canyon to Old Emerald Falls (turn left)
Old Emerald Falls to Moro Ridge (turn right)
Moro Ridge to Bommer Ridge (turn right)
Bommer Ridge to Willow Canyon (turn left)

Old Emerald Falls takes you into the remote regions of Crystal Cove State Park, and you return to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park through gate #12 back to Bommer Ridge. The Pacific Ocean is normally visible from Bommer Ridge, but it was overcast today and the views were hazy at best. The weather was a cool 65F and there were plenty of hikers and mountain bikers around.

Descending Old Emerald trail

Junction with Old Emerald Falls trail

Old Emerald Falls trail

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