Hiking Top of the World

Hiking Top of the World

Hiking the 6.5-mile loop from Top of the World Park in Laguna Beach includes of ocean views at the start and end with a peaceful, wooded journey in between.

Top of the World is one of my favorite hikes in all of Southern California. My husband and I have traversed its trails many times and were grateful to get in this hike before the worst of the summer heat wave descended on Orange County. This hike starts at Top of the World Park in Laguna Beach (hence the name) and is a part of the Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park. As we made our way along the long stretch that is West Ridge Trail, we were accompanied by bright, open skies and sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness.

Top of the World Park
West Ridge Trail from Top of the World Park

West Ridge Trails spans for 2 miles before ending at Cholla Trail, which is a steep, yet short, jaunt. During our descent, we were shaking in our boots while passing by weary travelers walking their bikes up its rocky terrain, knowing full well we would be in a similar position before long.

Cholla Trail
Wood Canyon Trail

Although Cholla is all downhill, it is still treacherous with loose dirt and rocks the whole way, so step with caution. Once you reach Wood Canyon trail at the end of Cholla the next 2.5 of your trek will be smooth sailing. Wood Canyon is aptly named with plenty of shade from large trees and tall canyon walls sprinkled with green. Although it is hard to pass up an ocean view, Wood Canyon trail is my favorite part of this hike.

We took our time hiking along Wood Canyon trail to soak in the cooler air, take a break from the sun, and snack on an energy bar. Once we arrived at the trail head for Mathis Canyon, we tightened our packs and took a big gulp from our camelbacks to begin our arduous climb. We kept a steady and slow pace as we hiked the 1.5 miles uphill, stopping a few times along the way. If not for Mathis Canyon Trail, I would have rated this hike easy to moderate, but this trail is no joke! If you don’t believe me, just look at how wide I’m smiling in the picture below after making it back to West Ridge Trail.

West Ridge Trail after the climb back up Mathis Trail

Did you hike Top of the World to West Ridge and Wood Canyon trails? If so, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

In Love, Peace, and Hiking ~ xo

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Hi there! Chasing Belle is where I share my favorite hikes, healthy living tips, and love of the outdoors! The world is a big, beautiful place and I plan on chasing down every square inch of it :)

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