Saturday, August 20, 2011

El Moro Park

As it is late summer and the weather a perfectly balmy 75 degrees, I decided to take the dogs for a short hike late this afternoon and check out the newly-opened El Moro State Park.  Imagine our delight (and surprise) to enter the parking area and find a local family unloading their three beautiful horses, right there in the middle of the parking lot~


Due to ever-increasing urban sprawl, our county’s equestrian areas and trails continue to be marginalized.  Apparently these are the last publicly-available costal trails for horses.  When I was a kid you could rent horses and ride along the bluffs and on the beach below; seeing these horses today brought back some wonderful memories of riding with my equestrienne Mother. It’s too bad that the State did not provide for a staging area for mounted visitors; there is a petition underway, according to these riders; it would have certainly been easier and safer for all if a simple area had been set aside. Including me with Biscuit, who has never seen a horse and was straining at the leash while I was shooting photos; thankfully these were calm horses~


The parking area quickly gives way to gently sloping fire roads which double as paths~


Which provided ample room for the mounted team to pass us and round the next corner~


This time of year, everything is dry as a bone.  Still, Mother Nature manages to present little bits of beauty & color~


Springtime is a different story, but even now there are the tiniest flowers~


But this park and this walk are not about the little views, it’s about the vistas; here down to the beach and Abalone Point~


The El Moro Park is adjacent to Crystal Cove Park along the beach, and joins up with the Laguna Wilderness Park  behind our house on the inland side; if you want to do the entire circuit it is about 10 miles and several hours.  There are fine views towards the interior of the park~


The newest portion of the Park to open is the campground.  This was formerly the El Morro trailer park, where I used to enjoy the blufftop views from my friend Leah’s sisal & linen & antique-filled double wide; today it was full to the brim with campers and RV’s~


In the early morning hours, you will see plenty of deer and other critters, always lots of big rabbits, which were crossing our bath today and got my dogs all keyed up~


In the summer you will also find rattlesnakes, which is why I keep the dogs close; but you are more likely to find one of these creatures along the path~


Just to the north is Newport Coast; more of that urban sprawl and McMansionization which brings congestion to our formerly sleepy little town of Laguna Beach~


Leaving the park and coming down Coast Highway, you get another look at Abalone Point and all the vacationers enjoying the beach; the ocean was beautiful today~


Thanks, California State Parks, I think I will indeed be back soon!



  1. Your pictures are breathtaking. I need to get out there one day really've inspired me to visit again!


  2. Andrea a really beautiful setting. The views and creatures (especially seeing the horses!)are stunning, even this time of year when it is so dry.


    Art by Karena

  3. Oh, this makes me want to ride again so badly!

  4. These are pictures from my neighborhood too!