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California State Parks

Crystal Cove State Beach & El Moro Canyon

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Listed in Beaches, Bicycle, Laguna Beach Attractions, Northern, Park, Sports & Recreation

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Crystal Cove State Park and El Moro Canyon are located along the coast between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.

El Moro Canyon

This section of the park offers trails for nearly all level of riders.  While most of the trails are fire roads there are some exceptionally nice single-tracks in the park that will put a smile on most peoples face.   Aerobically this is a moderate (according to your fitness level) ride where the climbs tend to be a little on the steep side in places.   However, the climbs are well worth it as the ridge tops offer some stunning views of the Pacific Ocean to the west and Santiago Peak to the east.  While this is a multi-use park, it is known as a mountain biking place.  There are plenty of trail runners that use the park as well, so be on guard.

Crystal Cove State Beach

Crystal Cove State Park’s rolling surf, wide sandy beaches, tidepools, gently sloping hills, and deeply wooded canyons and ridges provide a delightful contrast to its urban surroundings.  Located off busy Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore. The park’s Mediterranean climate is characterized by moist, foggy summer mornings, with the fog burning off by midmorning to bring warm, sunny days and cool evenings.  Crystal Cove State Park has 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness, which is popular for outdoor enthusiasts. The offshore waters are designated as an underwater park. Crystal Cove is used by mountain bikers inland and scuba and skin divers underwater. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers. Visitors can explore tidepools and sandy coves. Crystal Cove offers sand and surf, rocky reefs, ridges and canyons – plus recreational opportunities – that appeal to everybody. State Park staff and docents conduct interpretive programs year-round including guided hikes, tidepool walks, and geology talks.

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