Orange County Parks
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Crystal Cove
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Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is located on Pacific Coast highway between Laguna and Newport Beach. This area ,once inhabited by Native Americans, was sold to a familiar gentleman James Irvine in 1864 and was purchased by California in 1979 and made into a state  park.  

 It was Spring so the park was especially beautiful after the heavy rains but the pollen count was way up. The basic shape of the park is a canyon with ridge lines above.  Itís right on the coast so itís cooler than other Orange County parks but it still can get very warm!  If possible, leave in the a.m. and bring plenty of water.  I would suggest packing some Power Bars to keep up the energy because the climbing here is strenuous to say the least.

(Click thumbnail for larger view. Click the "X" in right top corner to close the window)

The ranger station on a busy Saturday morning at the park. You buy your parking pass here and there are trail maps  and a friendly staff  to answer questions about the park.

Here is a shot looking down into El Moro Canyon looking out towards the ocean. The park is over 2,300 acres so there is a lot of land to explore. Along with mountain biking, hiking is very popular.

This picture was taken near the start of the El Moro Canyon trail. As you can see, pollen was in large amounts and for some reason I kept thinking about Killer bees.  The trail starts out wide open and after some very steep climbs you will enter a nice cool grove of oak and sycamores trees.

I believe these are  California poppies.  Lots of flowers so make sure to take the camera or just keep checking out

Hereís what you have been waiting for.  This is the start of the Redtail Ridge trail which turns into Rattlesnake trail. A good couple miles of fun single track that can get rocky in places.

Speaking of Rattlesnake trail. Not the best picture but I think this may be a rattler.  I saw not one but two.

Crystal Cove State Park has truly  something for everyone.  I probably wouldn't advise a beginner to come here but if you are looking for some challenges or just a scenic day hike in the hills then this park is for you.  Just be careful and watch out for the snakes!

For further park info click here.

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