Share:

Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach

Los Angeles Metro Area, California

Start Exploring
Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach

Share:

Advertisement
  • Canadian geese and ducks.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Seagulls along the Santa Ana River Trail.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Gulls, terns, and sandpipers on the Santa Ana River Trail.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Anaheim Regional Transport Intermodal Center.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Near the mouth of the Santa Ana River.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • End of the trail where it goes under the Pacific Coast Highway.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Newport Beach.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Newport Beach.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Newport Beach (left) and Huntington Beach (right).- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • One of the many bridges that cross the river.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • The path near Centennial Park in Santa Ana.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • The path near Anaheim.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Near Yorba Linda.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
  • Parking area at Yorba Regional Park.- Santa Ana River Trail to Huntington Beach
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Flat, easy ride. Birding. Easy access.
Cons: 
Subpar scenery. Urban ride. River is dry much of the year.
Advertisement
Region:
Los Angeles Metro Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Trail difficulty: 
Green
Total Distance: 
45.00 mi (72.42 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
490.00 ft (149.35 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The Santa Ana River is roughly 100 miles long and is the longest river completely within Southern California. The Santa Ana River Trail is a partially completed system of trails both paved and unpaved that, when completed, will parallel the Santa Ana from Big Bear Lake to Huntington Beach.  

The longest continuous portion is the segment between Prado Dam and Huntington Beach, a paved, multi-use, 28-mile pathway through urban Southern California. This segment is most commonly accessed via Yorba Regional Park, which cuts 6 miles off the distance but offers much easier parking and access to the trail. While not the most scenic ride, the path is 12 feet wide, well maintained, and completely separate from traffic. It is one of the longest paved bike paths in the country that does not traverse surface roads.

The Santa Ana River is a bit of a misnomer since, for most of the year, there is no water running through the riverbed. Only in the mountains does the river flow freely; once into urban areas, the water is diverted for municipal and agricultural use. What little water flows in the lower parts of the river consists mostly of urban runoff and wastewater treatment plant effluent. Despite heavy use and pollution, the river does provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, waterfowl and shorebirds, such as Canada geese, ducks, herons, seagulls, and sandpipers.

The path ends at the mouth of the Santa Ana River where it separates Huntington Beach from Newport Beach. Heading north, the path joins the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, and heading south, the path joins the sidewalk along the Pacific Coast Highway. Cyclists can access the Balboa Bike Trail via surface roads. The path is flat with almost no elevation gain or loss and is easily done by novice cyclists. From the beach, you can return to Yorba Regional Park, or arrange for a car shuttle.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(43 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
7 Members
Who's Done It
4 Members
Submission by
Contributor
9 Adventures Explored
9 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info