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OC Parks Top 3: Scenic Spots

OC Parks includes more than 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal landmarks, and open space that are full of breath-taking views and hidden gems. Grab your camera and come out to explore these landmarks.

Here are our top 3 picturesque photo spots throughout OC Parks, and how to get there. Watch our video for more information. Make sure to plan accordingly, wear appropriate footwear, bring plenty of water, protect yourself from the elements and follow all park rules.

  • Red Rock Canyon at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
    • This hike is approximately 4 miles round trip with minimal elevation change.
    • The parking lot is located at 26701 Portola Parkway, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610. It is on Portola Parkway, between Bake and Alton.
    • Proceed to the entrance of Borrego Canyon Trail.
    • After hiking for about 1.5 miles, you will come to an intersection with a sign board, continue to the right. There is a map posted in this area that you can reference.
    • You will briefly walk on Mustard Trail, but quickly come to the trail head for Red Rock Canyon. Turn left and continue hiking for about .5 miles. Portions of this trail are very rocky.
    • The sandstone cliffs are very fragile and can be dangerous to climb. Please help up us protect this unique canyon, as well as park visitors, by staying on trail to enjoy the view.
    • Whiting Ranch is protected habitat in a wilderness park, so no dogs are allowed on the trails.
  •  Boat Canyon Hike at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
    • This hike is 4.3 miles each way, so 8.6 miles roundtrip with steep climbs.
    • Park in the Big Bend parking lot, just off of Laguna Canyon Road.
    • Hike 1.5 miles up Big Bend. This is very steep.
    • At the top of Big Bend (post 12), turn left onto Bommer Ridge; hike 1 mile on Bommer Ridge.
    • At the junction with Boat Road (post 15), turn right; hike 1.3 miles on Boat Road.
    • Boat Road becomes Guna Peak Trail (at post 18); hike .5 mile on Guna Peak Trail.
    • At the end of Guna Peak Trail is a great overlook; there’s a bench for relaxing and enjoying the spectacular views up and down the coast.

  •  Redwood Grove at Carbon Canyon Regional Park

    • From the beginning of the Nature Trail from Parking Lot F (east end), it is 1.1 miles one way to the Redwood Grove.
    • If you start the excursion from Parking Lot A (west end) trailhead, it is approximately ½ mile to the Redwood Grove. If you take this route, there is less scenery. You will miss the Butterfly Garden and the corral area filled with native plants and newly planted trees.