Pacific Coast Highway going South, then taking you to points East and West along the coastline
Welcome to Pacific Coast Highway going North and South on the Santa Ana River bicycle trail.
The section of Pacific Coast Highway that goes through the Southeast corner of the City of Huntington Beach is also, the Southern most entrance, with mile marker 0 starting after you get onto the path to the 29 mile Orange County section of the Santa Ana River Trail. The Santa Ana River bicycle trail or the Santa Ana bicycle trail, are the two other names people call the river trail that starts on the West bank of the Santa Ana River and next to the river mouth, which is where all the river water empties out to the Pacific Ocean. Other names for the trail, also include the Santa Ana riverbed, or the Santa Ana riverbed trail. Some people and the county planners and the Parks department, also know it as the Santa Ana River Trail and Parkway. The trail is also a National Recreation Trail.
PARKING IS AVAILABLE at the Huntington State Beach parking lot, located at Brookhurst Street and Pacific Coast Highway, but you will have to pay to park your car at this location. Riding your bike in is free. You can save on parking costs, by parking for free on Brookhurst Street, just before reaching Pacific Coast Highway. To get to the trail from there, head South on Brookhurst Street, cross Pacific Coast Highway, and go through the parking lot, once you see a trail, to the East you can easily find the beginning of, the Santa Ana River Trail. If parking along Brookhurst Street, very shortly before Pacific Coast Highway, you can find the entrance to the Talbert Marsh, which will take you to the Santa Ana River Trail and then you can go South to Pacific Coast Highway.
If you're riding your bike from the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, or from Newport Beach, to access the beginning of the Santa Ana River Trail, will mean you will have to spiral around before you go under the Pacific Coast Highway bridge. At about the same time, there is a blind curve which is under the bridge, so make sure you stay to the right and be careful. It will quickly straighten out and start going North but you have to go 100 feet before the 0 mile marker for the Santa Ana River Trail actually begins. There's also warning signs that this area will also flood, when it's the rainy season.
If ARRIVING BY BUS on Pacific Coast Highway, you will want to take OCTA bus # 1, during the weekdays in the morning and evenings the bus runs more often at every 30 minutes. On the weekends the bus runs every hour, on the route that runs from the City of San Clemente to the South and Cal State Long Beach to the West or South, where you can catch other buses, to go through the City of Long Beach or other cities around L.A. When you get to any of the busses running in Orange County, you send a text with the bus stop number, and the bus route number, to get all the times it's going to arrive, at that particuar bus stop, OCTA text for next If you arrive from Brookhurst Street, you will want to take OCTA bus # 35, , which takes you 17 miles ending in the City of Fullerton at the Park and Ride, which is also a transfer point for other OCTA buses and a Express route bus running between Downtown L.A. and Disneyland. On weekdays the bus comes every 30 or 35 minutes and every hour on the weekend. You can ride OCTA bus # 47 going East then North through Balboa Island, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, then on through Anaheim and then ending in Fullerton at the Fullerton Transportation Center, where you can catch other buses or take your bike on the Metrolink or Amtrak. Once you get off the Santa Ana River Trail at Brookhurst Street go East for about 1.9 miles, which should be about a 10 minute ride. The bus runs every 15 or 20 minutes in the mornings and during the daytime on weekdays, and runs just about as often on the weekends.
For FOOD and DRINK, there's not much available around by Pacific Coast Highway. During the summer, you can go West on the Huntington Beach bike trail, and find the shacks that sell food. Another option is a small little strip mall with shops, including a pizza place and maybe a liquor store, that is on the corner of Brookhurst Street and Bushard Street. You can get there by going North on Brookhurst Street for .3 miles, that will take about a minute of bike riding to reach. You can get to Brookhurst Street by getting off the Talbert Marsh Trail, or shortly after the Huntington Beach bike trail starts.
On the East bank of the Santa Ana River, which is in the City of Newport Beach, there's another trail, Banning Channel Bikeway.. This trail is across the river from the Santa Ana River Trail. It begins after going North under the Pacific Coast Highway bridge. This paved trail, takes you North for 3 miles until you merge back into the Santa Ana River Trail by the Talbert Nature Preserve, also see that same page for the trail, that's called the Banning Channel Bikeway. You have to pass Pacific Coast Highway to get onto that trail, going North.
Getting back to going South on the Santa Ana River Trail, when you get to the end and go West for 1.3 miles and ride for about 15 minutes on what is called the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, you'll reach the Huntington Beach Pier. Continuing on the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, for another 5.3 miles and 25 minutes, will take you to the end of the Huntington Beach Bike Trail.
At this point, you'll be going on side streets through Sunset Beach, (which is now part of the City of Huntington Beach) for about 1.3 miles and 6 minutes, before you turn right and go North for 459 feet. Then you'll see where you can turn onto Pacific Coast Highway, and go for about 1.6 miles and 10 minutes to get to the City of Seal Beach.
You have to go through a mile of side streets for 5 minutes before you reach the Seal Beach Pier. You can then go West on Marina Drive for .4 miles and 2 minutes or North on Pacific Coast Highway for .5 miles and 4 minutes, to reach the end of the Orange County line, right by the San Gabriel River. There is also the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, which is mostly on the East side. On the West side of the San Gabriel River is the City of Long Beach and the Los Angeles County line.
To reach the LA county line and the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, which is a total distance of 12.6 miles and 1 hour and 3 minutes after getting off the Santa Ana River Trail at Pacific Coast Highway. You can also take bus (# 1) which will take about 47 minutes, once you get on the bus. All the buses around the area are equipped, with bike racks on the front. There are also buses that go North and South along Pacific Coast Highway, through all of Orange County.
IF YOU GO EAST, after going under the Pacific Coast Highway, you will be headed toward the City of Newport Beach. Before arriving in the most Southern beach in Orange County, which is San Clemente, you will go through several beach cities on the way. First of all, you're led onto a sidewalk that's marked for bikes or you can use the bike lane that's provided on Pacific Coast Highway. You will have to travel on either of these for 2.6 miles and for about 13 minutes until you come up to the Newport Pier, in the City of Newport Beach. Not too far from the Newport Pier, is the Balboa Pier. You can get to it from the Newport-Balboa Bike Trail by going East for 1.7 miles and 8 minutes.
There's two different trails around Newport Bay, which is off of Pacific Coast Highway. The first one is 3.5 miles and about 16 minutes off of the Santa Ana River Trail. That same trail feeds into other ones North and to the East including the San Diego Creek Bike Trail. The other trail, is the MacArthur side path, and feeds into other trails including the San Diego Creek Bike Trail, which is 5.6 miles and 31 minutes from the Santa Ana River Trail.
Also off of Pacific Coast Highway is Crystal Cove State Park, 7.2 miles and 39 minutes from the Santa Ana River Trail. You can also get there on bus (#1) which will take about 36 minutes to get there. 12.4 miles and riding for about 1 hour and 7 minutes will take you to the main beach in the City of Laguna Beach, or if you take the bus it will take about 57 minutes. Another 4.1 miles and about 20 minutes of riding will take you to the South Laguna section at the Southern end of the City of Laguna Beach.
An 18.1 mile ride, which could take about a hour and 40 minutes, on PCH from the Santa Ana River Trail, will take you to Monarch Beach and the Salt Creek River Trail. Another 1.9 miles and a few more minutes, will take you to the Dana Point Harbor. Taking the bus there will get you there about twice as fast, which is estimated at about 1 hour.
21.2 miles from the Santa Ana River Trail, is the San Juan Creek Bike Trail, which is about 2 hours away by bike. You can get there in 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus. The San Clemente Pier is the last landmark along the coast in Orange County as you go South. The County of San Diego starts 2.8 miles after the pier. If you take the bus, there will be 100 bus stops and the trip will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Right by there is San Onofre State Beach. Camp Pendelton is nearby, and runs along the coast for about 10 miles or more.
This picture shows the bike path from the trail to Pacific Coast Highway heading east to Newport Beach.
This picture shows the Santa Ana River Trail path heading to Huntington Beach
This picture shows the bike path as it crosses over the river heading to Newport Beach