Note: Wilderness parks are closed for 48 hours or more after significant rainfall. Parks may be closed due to rain conditions or mud. Call (949) 923-2235 or visit websites for current conditions. Wildfire season is here. Fires of any kind are prohibited in wilderness areas. Please report any suspicious activity to park rangers. Sunscreen, sturdy shoes and water are wilderness essentials, along with any medications you require. Wilderness areas may be closed during periods of extreme fire danger. Call (949) 923-2235 or visit websites for current conditions.
CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK
Crystal Cove State Park, 8471 N. Coast Hwy, has 3.5 miles of beach and 2,000 acres of undeveloped woodland. $15 day-use parking fee.
The park is open 6 a.m. to sunset daily. Docent-led backcountry hikes are scheduled for 9 a.m. most Saturdays and Sundays. Hikes are three to five miles long, and last about two hours.
Note: Hikes meet at one of these locations:
El Moro Visitor Center — from Coast Highway, turn inland at the School/State Park light and follow park signs.
Los Trancos — from Coast Highway, turn inland at Los Trancos. Meet near the trailer.
Pelican Point Lot No. 2 — From Coast Highway, turn coastward at Newport Coast.
For more information, call (949) 497-7647 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backcountry Hike: 8 a.m. Saturday. Join a state park volunteer for a guided 3-5 mile backcountry hike. Meet at El Moro Visitor Center (from Coast Highway, turn inland at stoplight for School-State Park.) $15 day-use parking fee.
Tidepool Walk: 5 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy a guided tidepool walk at Pelican Point on. A volunteer will help identify animals and describe some awesome adaptations. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, near the parking lot (from Coast Highway turn coastward at Newport Coast, right at the kiosk and left into the first lot.) $15 day-use parking fee.
California Coastal Cleanup Day: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Meet at Pelican Point lot #4 or Reef Point. Volunteers needed to clean the 3.5 miles of coastline of the park. Parking fee waived for those entering the park between 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and are planning to join the volunteer event. For more information call (949) 497-7647 or e-mail email@example.com.
Crystal Cove Alliance eighth annual Beach Gala: Starts at sunset, Saturday. Rumrunner's Party and Jazz on the Beach. Party-goers will enjoy sipping "prohibition" cocktails at sunset then dancing on the beach to live jazz music while enjoying coastal cuisine from Pelican Hill Resort and the Montage Laguna Beach. For more information and tickets visit http://www.crystalcovealliance.org.
LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, 20101 Laguna Canyon Road; reservations and information, (949) 923-2235; http://www.ocparks.com.
Rangers staff the park daily. Open 7 a.m. to sunset daily, including holidays. Parking lot hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To learn more about volunteering or helping Laguna Canyon Foundation to preserve, protect and enhance the South Coast Wilderness, visit http://www.lagunacanyon.org or call (949) 497-8324.
Willow Canyon on Laguna Canyon Road, just south of the El Toro Road intersection. Open to hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers on specified trails; open 7 a.m. to sunset, but parking lot is only open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., $3.
Dilley Preserve on Laguna Canyon Road, just north of the 73 Toll Road: Open daily 7 a.m. to sunset. Parking $3; lot open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Little Sycamore Canyon on Laguna Canyon Road, just south of the 405 Freeway interchange: The James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; parking $3; lot open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Laguna Heights, the trail head for West Ridge trail and routes into Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, at Top of the World on Alta Laguna Boulevard, is open daily, 7 a.m. to sunset.
Birding Hike: 8 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Spot resident and summer migratory birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 2-mile hike over uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations required by calling (949) 923-2235. Parking is $3. Donation is $2 per person.
Fitness Hike: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 3.5-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (700-ft. elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Rd, just south of El Toro Rd intersection). Reservations required by calling (949) 923-2235. Parking is $3. Donation is $2 per person.