Five Hiking Trails within 45 Minutes of Chapman

Delving into nature by hiking offers a way to find silence and clarity. In addition to reducing stress and clearing our heads, hiking also burns calories. What’s not to like? Finding hiking trails near Chapman can be tricky, so we’ve made the search easier with these five trails under an hour away.

Each destination may contain different routes. Click on trail name to see trail maps and more information.

  1. Crystal Cove: There are multiple routes that you can choose from – all travel across a variety of terrain and allow you to admire the ocean and cliffs.
  • Maximum distance: 2.9 miles
    • Distance from Chapman: 20-30 min.
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 505 ft
  • Dogs: No
  • Parking: $15

Photos by Marissa Dunn and courtesy of California Beaches.

  1. Black Star Canyon: Frequent hikers probably know of the Black Star Canyon Trail, accessed off Highway 241 at Santiago Canyon. After a few miles you will turn left onto Silverado Canyon, then left onto Black Star Canyon Road. This trail requires crossing streams and rock scrambling.
  • Maximum distance: 6.8 miles
    • Distance from Chapman: 20-30 min.
  • Time: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 941 ft
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Parking: $15

Photos courtesy of

  1. Big Bend Loop, Laguna Coast: Offers the chance to see wildlife and is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips. The first portion is very steep, but the intense cardio is worth it for the stunning views.
  • Maximum distance: 5.8 miles
    • Distance from Chapman: 20-30 min
  • Time: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation gain: 889 ft.
  • Dogs: No
  • Parking : $3

Photo courtesy of The Outbound Collective

4. San Clemente Beach Trail: This trail extends from the Metro Station parking lot at North Beach to Calafia State Beach in the south. This is a flat, crushed granite trail that’s shared by walkers, runners, bikers, dogs and strollers. Because it’s a flat out-and-back trail, you can make it as easy or challenging as you want.

  • Maximum distance: 4.6 miles

    • Distance from Chapman: 45 min
  • Time: ~1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: 50 ft
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Parking: Free

Photo courtesy of Jeff Hester and Go Hike it

  1. Peters Canyon Hike: Recovering from a fire last year, Peters Canyon offers a variety of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.
  • Maximum distance: 5.9 miles
    • Distance from Chapman: 15-20 min
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 680ft
  • Dogs: Yes (on leash only)
  • Parking: Small fee

Photo courtesy of Trailing Friday  

Marissa Dunn

Leave a Reply