A Valido Point of View

Hiking Valido Trail to Aliso Peak in Laguna Beach

When you reach Aliso Peak via Valido Trail in Laguna Beach, you’ll be close enough to the blue Pacific to see the detail of the waves crashing upon the shore, but high enough for a sweeping perspective on the grandeur of the SoCal coastline. This lightly trafficked, 1.1-mile (one-way) out-and-back trail rapidly ascends 331 feet to this dramatic viewpoint in Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness Park.

The trail begins just off the street and squeezes between two houses before proceeding into an open valley. Vibrant wildflowers like blue pride of madeira and hairy golden aster are sprinkled along the path and starkly contrast with the rich green hillside

The trail remains relatively level for a short distance. When you come across wooden stairs embedded in the path, you know you’re into the crux of the main ascent. When the trail levels out once more on the hillcrest, head left toward the ocean and then right at the fork. Just before reaching the peak, the trail steepens again but you’ll be quickly rewarded by Aliso Peak’s panoramic ocean view. Bonus: A bench awaits you, where you can perch to watch the sun set over the grandeur of the coast. Unless it’s foggy. But hey: Fog is beautiful too, right?

From CA-1 in South Laguna, turn east onto Catalina St. After 0.2 mile, make a slight left onto Valido Rd. The trailhead is about 200 feet up the road. Parking is permitted on the north curb. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Damme Good Camping

    Just a few miles south of the town of Mendocino is one of the best hike-in (or bike-in) campgrounds on the California coast. Van Damme State Park follows Little River inland from the ocean, and the nine first-come, first-served environmental campsites can be reached via the Fern Canyon Trail.

  2. Campsite at Loch Leven Lakes in Tahoe National Forest

    Tahoe Trio of Lakes

    Three alpine lakes, superb views, and shoreline camping for soaking it all in … Loch Leven Lakes is pure Tahoe wilderness. This 7.2-mile out-and-back in Tahoe National Forest is great for a long day hike, or a weekend of adventure camping among this trio of crystal waters.

  3. Calaveras Giants

    Contending as some of the tallest, mightiest, and most muscular spectacles in the state are the hulking (and beautiful) trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Hit the trails to witness spectacular groves of giant sequoia redwoods.

  4. Best of the Summer Fests!

    Outdoor winery events featuring films, food, wine, live music, and Sonoma’s cinematic scenery in the background: now that’s a blockbuster summer weekend!


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Backpacking to Rancheria Falls in Hetch Hetchy Valley Yosemite

    Get Hetched!

    Enjoy top-notch valley views on this 13-mile moderately strenuous backpacking trip highlighting some of Yosemite's best scenery. A bonus: This part of the park attracts fewer visitors than the much more famous valley

  2. Hiker on Proctor Mountain Loop Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

    Storied Trail

    If ever there was a fairy trail, this 6.8-mile lollipop loop on Sun Valley’s Proctor Mountain is it. The Proctor Mountain Trail is a storied route in more ways than one, starting with its tranquil oasis memorial for a famous writer, Ernest Hemingway.

  3. thousand island lake backpacking

    Picture Worth a Thousand Words

    Catch a mirrored sunrise at Thousand Island Lake back in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. You can reach this jewel—set at 9,500 feet in the High Sierra and backed by the brilliant Banner Peak—via a 10-mile trek along part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

  4. Two bikers on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

    Two Wheels to Zen

    The family-friendly Wood River Trail goes over an historic bridge, past art sculptures and ranch-roaming horses, all amid sprawling green valley and a mountainous backdrop. Roll out from the Farmers Market at River Run Lodge and pedal the 8-mile (round-trip) ride to Sun Valley’s Sawtooth Botanical Garden.