Temple Hill P500
Niguel Hill P500
Aliso Peak
Peak 710ft P300
Peak 890ft P300
Folsom Ridge

Sat, May 5, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPXs: 1 2 3 4


I was in Huntington Beach where I met up with my wife who was reffing pro beach volleyball here for the week. While she was working today, I headed off to do some easy summits in the hills above Laguna Beach the Dana Point areas. Inland temps were forecast to be in the mid-90s, but along the coast was a far more comfortable 70s - thus my choice to avoid the warmer areas around the Southland.

Temple Hill

This point is found at the end of Alta Laguna Blvd above Laguna Beach. The topo map shows the highpoint to be in a development above Alta Laguna Park, but grading there seems to have made it no higher than the more accessible point to the north labeled Top of the World on Google Maps. It is one of the THs for a very popular mountain biking area in the Laguna Hills, popular with hikers and dog walkers as well. The coastal views are pretty good, too. The outing takes all of about 5min.

Niguel Hill / Aliso Peak

This is a nice little hike on the edge of the Laguna Sur development above South Laguna. A trail starts from Seaview Park just outside the gated community, going over the highpoint of Niguel Hill with a collection of picnic benches provided along the way, most with nice views. The trail then becomes unmaintained and eroded as it goes steeply downhill to the saddle with Aliso Peak about 3/4mi to the southwest. The trail is quite popular, at least on weekends, and its steepness seems to catch quite a few not-in-great-shape folks by surprise. There is a view bench atop Aliso Peak overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Below the north side of the peak lies the Ranch at Laguna Beach, a golf course that has little to do with ranching, these days at least. There are other trails coming up to Aliso Peak from below for those wishing a tougher workout. I spent about 45min round trip on the easier route from Skyview Park.

Peak 710ft

Mark McCormick on PB describes this one as having been graded to an elevation of 620ft. That would be 90ft of the top removed which seems highly unlikely. More likely, the topo map is in error, showing the highpoint at a location along St. Christopher Dr. The actual highpoint is on a bluff above this to the east, the top of which has not been graded. An old firebreak now serves as a public trail along the ridgeline. The highpoint appears to be at the junction of two trails with nice views overlooking the hills and the Pacific Ocean.

Peak 890ft / Folsom Ridge

This pair of minor summits is located in the hills above Dana Point on the east side of Interstate 5. There is a TH at the end of Camino Las Ramblas leading into the Open Space areas above the community that are also popular with mountain bikers. There are a variety of options to reach Peak 890ft, from slippery, straight up, to more gentle grades. The bike track I followed down looked particularly challenging with banked turns and jumps built into the steep trail. After returning back down from Peak 890ft, I went up the south side of the saddle to Folsom Ridge, a leisurely hike along a more gentle ridgeline. There is a water tank atop Folsom Ridge about 3/4mi from the TH, the highpoint found at the southeast end of the fence around the tank. The ridge is surrounded by some upscale home, some of them unbelievably over-the-top. Lots of money in these parts. It wasn't yet noon when I returned to the Jeep, but that was about all I wanted to do today. Time to go watch some volleyball...

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More of Bob's Trip Reports

For more information see these SummitPost pages: Temple Hill - Niguel Hill - Aliso Peak

This page last updated: Sun May 6 09:28:27 2018
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