Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve

Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve 

Newport Beach, Ca

2301 N University Dr, Newport Beach, Ca 92660



Upper Newport Bay is a unique environmental nature reserve. It it in fact “one of the most precious natural resources in Southern California” (Newport Bay Conservancy). The Upper Newport Bay consists of a spacious wetland and open water surrounded by coastal bluffs. It is home of much natural habitat and wildlife, as well as a source of natural beauty and ecological value.

Upper Newport Bay

Views of Newport Bay from Castaways Park




Upper Newport Bay offers a variety of recreational activities. The bay itself is a prime spot for kayaking and paddle-boarding. Surrounding the bay is a trail, as well as paved road, for biking and hiking. I have also seen horseback riding from local equestrians. There is really so much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts.


The entire trail loop is a total of 10.5 miles. I typically only hike half of that. I start at the trailhead off of Irvine and University Drive, then take the trail towards Jamboree until I reach the lookout point at Eastbluff Drive. Here is the entire Upper Newport Bay Map.




There are multiple places to launch your board but I typically prefer to start at Newport Dunes. Launching the board here is great because you can paddle directly out toward Newport Back Bay in calm water without any boat interference. I have my own board but there are rentals available with the Pirates Coast paddle company located near Newport Dunes.


Dog Walking

Upper Newport Bay is a great place to take dogs. The best trail to walk your dog starts right near the parking lot off of Irvine and University Drive. And FYI parking is free too!



Best Time To Go

The best time to go is during the Spring time between March-May when the flowers are all blossomed. There is so much more beauty at this time of year. Nevertheless, there is really no bad time to visit. The presence of sunshine, blue skies, and warm weather is available year a round.





In health and happiness,


One comment

  1. McKenzie, nice job on the post. You have reminded me that I haven’t done this hike in a long time, and it is a great training hike. You might want checkout my blog especially the OC Hiking, orangecountyhiking.home.blog and OC Beaches, beachesorangecountypursuingbalancethruadventure.home.blog/

    You will also see links to other hikes around the West. If you can think of some other good ones I should do I would appreciate it.

    Keep up the good work!

    Roger Jenkins
    Pursuing Balance Through Adventure


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s