Looking for something to do over the holidays? How about a hike?

Santiago Oaks Regional Park

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Santiago Oaks has challenging, but not crazy strenuous trails. You can get a nice, productive hike in less than two hours, which is awesome. But if you want to spend more time on the trail, you can go on the longer Anaheim Hills or the Weir Canyon hiking trails, which can take you to some amazing vista points overlooking Orange County.

Just be careful on the weekends if you’re a hiker, mountain bikers can be relatively disrespectful to hikers on this trail.

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Santiago Oaks Regional Park is at 2145 Windes Dr. in Orange. Parking is $3/day weekdays, $5/day weekends and holidays. ocparks.com/parks/santiago/

Crystal Cove State Park

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There’s nothing more scenic than hiking along our beautiful coastline in Crystal Cove. Crystal Cove State Park offers a variety of different trails, differing in difficulty. In total, the park’s trails stretch about 18 miles total.

Need to cool off after your hike? You can take a dip in the Pacific Ocean, conveniently located inside the park. The only downside here is the steep daily parking fee, $15.

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Crystal Cove State Park is at 8471 Pacific Coast Hwy in Laguna Beach. Parking is $15 a day, everyday. crystalcovestatepark.org

Black Star Canyon

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This is one of the gnarliest hikes you’ll ever embark on in Orange County. And not just because of the urban legends of Ku Klux Klan gatherings, ghost sightings and murders that occurred in the area.

The hike to the Black Star Falls is strenuous. Sure, the first mile is a nicely paved trail. But beyond that is a steep, rocky incline.

At a certain point, it’s no longer a hike, you’re literally rock climbing. Poison oak is prevalent in the area. Your cell phone will probably not work, at all. It’ll take you hours to get to the falls. This is not for the faint at heart. But if you survive, it’ll be something you’ll talk about for the rest of your life.

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Parking is free. Be warned, however, that there have been reports of vandalism in the area.

Black Star Canyon is at Black Star Canyon Rd in Orange. Free parking. 

Originally posted 2016-04-12 21:52:51.

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