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Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Hike

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Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn & Video Hike Directions
  • Trail Maps For the Hike
  • Parking Info
  • What to Look For on the Hike
Distance 3 miles (4.8 km)
Hike Time 2 Hours (Total)
Difficulty Easy
Total Ascent (?) 120 ft (37m)
Highest Elevation 75 ft (23m)
Fees & Permits Free
Dog Friendly Leashed
Park Website Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Park Phone 949-923-2290

Nestled in the neighborhood of Newport Beach, the Bluff and Bay Trail Loop in Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve affords nice views of Upper Newport Bay and world-class wildlife recognizing. The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is dwelling to some 200 hen species, together with some endangered species, making it a high hen watching vacation spot within the USA.

This information has a simple and enjoyable loop hike that takes you on trails down alongside the shore of Upper Newport Bay, then again alongside the bluffs overlooking the bay that supply nice views.

There have been some closures for the reason that video was shot, please reference the step-by-step instructions beneath for updates.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Parking & Directions

Here’s the tackle and link for the doorway to the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve: 2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is positioned about 15 minutes from Irvine, 50 minutes from downtown LA, and about 80 minutes north of San Diego.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Here’s what the doorway to the park appears like. There are massive (free) parking heaps right here but it surely does intestine busy on weekend mornings.

Parking and admission to the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is free.

Bathrooms are within the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center.

What You Need For the Hike

This isn’t a hardcore hike that requires any particular gear. The solely factor is that the decrease path may be muddy, so good hiking boots or waterproof sneakers can be sensible.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Trail Maps

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s How I Navigate The Hike

People ask me on a regular basis, so right here you go. I’ve just a few backups which you could see on my gear page, however typically I exploit a mixture of those instruments.

Fenix 5x Hiking Nav

Garmin Fenix Map Watch

This factor does all the pieces: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, coronary heart charge, blood oxygen, fitness monitoring, sleep monitoring, and the checklist goes on. I maintain a GPX route on the watch so I can rapidly look down and ensure I’m in the precise place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Gaia Gps

Gaia GPS

I load just a few varieties of offline maps onto my smartphone after I must work together with the map intimately. I additionally use it earlier than my hikes as a planning instrument for every kind of issues, together with discovering free authorities land to camp on. The advantages are many, I extremely advocate it.

Gaia GPS Benefits

HikingGuy Discount

Don’t simply depend on a cellphone, particularly in case you are hiking within the backcountry.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve 3d map
The hike hugs the Upper Newport Bay shoreline for the primary half, after which returns alongside the bluffs. The hike is especially flat except for some minor ups and downs.

What To Look For At Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Birds
There’s plenty of nice wildlife recognizing on this hike. Photo by Nandaro.
  • Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve may be very well-liked with hen watchers, particularly throughout migration durations, when there may be as much as 35,000 birds right here directly. Keep your eye out for (the rarer) white pelicans, the (endangered) burrowing owl, and the bobcat. Easier to identify are the quite a few osprey, brown pelicans, great blue heron, egret, and mullet jumping from the water.
  • The first a part of the hike takes you down alongside the shores of the Upper Newport Bay, which is far much less traveled than the remainder of the park. The second half of the hike takes you again alongside the bluffs, passing a number of scenic overlook factors the place you’ll be able to take all of it in from about 75 ft above the bay.
  • A minute or two after the start, you’ll arrive on the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, which has nice reveals on the entire Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, together with a fish tank. It’s run by the Newport Bay Conservancy (check the website out for more wildlife info), and is nicely well worth the go to.
  • This entire space, run by the Orange County Parks Department, encompasses about 1,000 acres of open area, all tucked into the center of busy Newport Beach. The precise Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is 135 acres and sits on the north facet of Newport Back Bay, providing nice views of the entire coastal wetland, one of many largest in southern California.
  • The Upper Newport Bay is the place San Diego Creek (I do know, we’re not close to San Diego) empties to the Pacific Ocean. San Diego Creek carries a lot of the nutrient-rich water down from the Santa Ana Mountains, making it an important place for wildlife to feed. If you retain happening Upper Newport Bay, it opens as much as Newport Harbor, the place individuals maintain their fancy boats.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Hike Directions

There’s something simple you can do to support these free guides!

There are plenty of twists and turns in these hike instructions. If you get misplaced, don’t sweat it, the park is small and also you’ll in all probability be straightforward to seek out your approach. You also can choose up a map on the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, but it surely solely has the primary trails on it.

Video Directions

View This Video in 360

Get notified when new guides come out with the hyperlinks beneath.

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Step-by-Step Directions

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The car parking zone is fairly enormous, however does get well-liked with locals, particularly on weekends.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The trailhead is within the lot the place you first pull in to park.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Follow the path downhill from the trailhead.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
If you need to make a brief detour, head to the commentary deck which is on the roof of the Muth Interpretive Center. Otherwise proceed downhill.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
As you hike downhill you’ll see the Muth Interpretive Center to your left. That’s your subsequent cease.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Checkout the cool sculpture on the Muth Interpretive Center plaza.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Check the park web site link on this article to get the Muth Interpretive Center hours.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
There are many nice interpretive shows that designate each facet of the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve in a simple to grasp approach.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
My favourite half is the fish tank with species that you simply discover in Upper Newport Bay.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
When you’re accomplished within the interpretive middle, make the left and head by the worker car parking zone.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Continue towards the bike path after which make the precise.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Hike down within the fenced-in part of path.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At the top of the fenced part, make the precise on the creek.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path follows alongside the creek.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
You can take the smaller higher path and get nearer to the water. Keep your eyes open for mullet.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
When you cross the bridge, proceed alongside the creek.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path begins to go uphill to the bluff.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Throughout the hike you’ll see quite a few facet trails. Remember that this can be a fragile habitat, si keep on the paths. The fauna contains the endangered Saltmarsh Bird’s Beak herb.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At the highest of the hill hike to the left.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Keep hiking to the left.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Avoid the paths to the precise and proceed hiking alongside the path closest to the cliff.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Okay, this junction is essential however straightforward to overlook. First, try the overlook space, then head down the following left to hike all the way down to the waterfront.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The overlook is a cool little space. There are extra of those on the best way again.

The part of the path alongside the water has been closed by the park.

The following instructions are not an possibility. I like to recommend following the path alongside the cliff, after which looping again. I’ll have up to date instructions within the close to future.

Upper Newport Bay New Entrance
Here’s the start of the path down the hill. The park put this little fence up not too long ago. I known as them to ask if the path was closed, however nobody may reply me. Since it doesn’t say this path is closed, and there’s clearly a approach down the path to the facet, I interpret that is “you can hike here, but you need to stay on the trail.” Head down the hill right here.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Leave the overlook and head down the second left from the previous image. You’ll hike down some steps towards the shoreline.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Avoid the paths inland and head to the trail alongside the shore.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Keep your eyes open for sardines and mullet.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At the top of the shoreline portion of the path, proceed to the precise and head inland.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path heads in direction of the foot of the bluffs.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
You’ll discover so particles and flotsam down right here. If there’s a storm surge or unusually excessive tide, this space is likely to be underwater, during which case it is advisable flip round and return. But often it’s okay. Time your journey for low tide in Newport Bay for the perfect probabilities.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path frequently splits and comes again collectively. Take the path on the left on the whole for the perfect views. If it’s too moist there, hike to the precise.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Midway on this part there’s a pleasant bench to absorb the views.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Some sections may be moist and muddy. Good boots assist right here.It all relies on how excessive the tide has been.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At the top of the waterfront stretch, head up the hill on the massive palm.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Make the left on the high of that little hill.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Cross the small bridge.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Once throughout the bridge, make the short left after which this proper.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
After that proper, go up the small hill and make the left.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path heads alongside a decrease bluff on the water.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
This part of path is sometimes overgrown.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Respect the hen habitat and don’t head all the way down to the water.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
This part of path has some good views onto sand spits the place shorebirds typically hang around.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At the top of this part of path, make the precise, avoiding the steep uphill path.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Stay on the broader essential path, avoiding any small trails to the precise.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At the bigger intersection, make the precise. The left flip heads to the road.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Again, keep on the primary path avoiding any smaller facet trails.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
You’ll cross a small bridge.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path begins to climb.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
The path useless ends into the bike path. Make the precise right here.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Head down the paved bike path for some time.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
When you attain this little bridge, make the precise flip to go up this path, hiking up the hill.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Randomly there’s a path signal right here, however nowhere else.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Keep heading straight up the primary path.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Stay left and keep away from the smaller (unofficial) trails alongside the bluff.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
There are just a few scenic overviews as you hike again alongside the bluffs.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
You’ll get good views out towards Newport Bay.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
You additionally get views east towards Saddleback Mountain.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
When the path dips and climbs, hike to the precise.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Keep straight on the massive junction.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
One final overview on this part.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Eventually the path intersects with the bike path once more. Make the precise.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Continue straight on the dust path subsequent to the bike path, passing any facet trails.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Eventually you’ll see a path bearing off to the precise the heads into the car parking zone the place you started. Take that to go again.
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
And that’s it, you’re again on the car parking zone the place you started.

Did one thing change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I’ll replace the information.

If you see trash on the path, please choose it up and carry it out. Be an excellent egg and observe no trace principles.

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