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Hiking Las Ramblas at Sunrise

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Done at a brisk pace (3.5 miles per hour) hiking the Las Ramblas trail makes a great early morning workout. There are some steep hills and sweeping vistas of the coastline from Dana Point to Oceanside, and Santiago Peak and the Santa Anas to the east. The trail follows dirt double track, but the junctions are not all well marked. You can hike this year-round, though avoid it in (and immediately after) heavy rain, unless you enjoy carrying an extra 10 pounds of mud on your shoes.

Trail Details
Distance: 3.4 miles
Time: ~1 hour
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 900 ft
Dogs: OK
When to go: Year round
As you can see in the elevation profile, this trail starts with a gradual incline, and has one very steep hill. It really gets your heart pumping. After the big hill, you follow the ridge out to your turn around point  — the flagpole. On the way back, take the first left around the ridge you came in on. It adds a little distance and gives you a good warm-down.

This trail is shared by horses and mountain bikers, and dogs are okay. I have spotted deer, rattlesnakes and even one bobcat on previous hikes in these hills.

The best times to hike these hills are early morning and early evening, mainly because there is no shade and the views are all the more spectacular at sunrise and sunset.

Trail Map and Elevation Profile

Download file: las-ramblas.gpx

Looking to hike this trail with others? There are two groups that post early morning 6am hikes on this trail pretty regularly, often on Tuesday and Thursday mornings: Crystal Cove Cardio and Hiking OC (both on Both groups are free to join, and provide a great way to experience the trail for the first time.

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