With over 2,400 acres of woodland and 3 miles of beach to explore, Crystal Cove State Park is a must-see when visiting Dana Point. Located in Laguna Beach, the State Park is located about ten miles from Dana Point. Whether you enjoy building sandcastles on the sand and swimming in the salty waters at the beach or prefer to go on a hike or mountain bike ride, Crystal Cove State Park offers all types of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Crystal Cove State Park is located in north Laguna Beach along Pacific Coast Highway. There are multiple entrances along the 2,400 acre park that extends into Newport Beach.
The Crystal Cove Trail system spans 2,400 acres of open space, giving visitors the feeling of solitude in Orange County even though the park is near one of the most populated areas in the country.
One unique aspect about the Crystal Cove State Park is that 12.3 acres along the coast are known as the Crystal Cove Historic District. This district is a restoration of what an early 20th century Southern California coastal development would look like. The district includes 21 cottages, all available for overnight use. The cottages can also be used for educational and community programs.
Since the park offers natural and cultural educational opportunities, the State Park staff, along with voluntary guides, conduct year-round interpretive programs including guided hikes, tidepool walks, and educational talks about the geology and other unique aspects of the park.
The Crystal Cove Underwater Park is one of the unique aspects of the park and is a must-see while visiting the area. The extraordinary biological diversity in the tidepools at Crystal Cove such as the plentiful kelp forest and assortment of shell and mollusk species. Protected by the state of California, this “underwater park” is one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world.
Choose from four different tide pool viewing areas including the Reef Point, Rocky Bight, Pelican Point, and Treasure Cove tidepools.
There are multiple parking lots available at Crystal Cove State Park. The first Crystal Cove parking lot is called Los Trancos Lot Parking and it is located at the Los Trancos lot on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway.
Reef Point Lot Parking is the third parking lot and it is located at Pacific Coast Highway and Reef Point Drive on the oceanside of PCH.
Lastly, the fourth parking lot is the El Moro Lot, which is located at the southernmost entrance of Crystal Cove State Park at El Moro Canyon, by El Moro Elementary School on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway.
A parking shuttle is available for transport to the beach, or visitors can walk through the tunnel under Pacific Coast Highway. Parking costs $5 per hour, a maximum of $15.