The Shady Canyon Trail is an incredibly scenic route along Shady Canyon Drive in southern Irvine. Extending through the southern reaches of the historic Irvine Ranch and protected Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, the trail is a hilly challenge well worth the effort for its dramatic views.
The route begins in the north at the Quail Hill Trailhead, which also serves the Quail Hill Trail, a paved path around the northern edge of the Quail Hill Preserve that links to several other trails in the city's extensive network. Hikers can also access the natural-surface Quail Hill Loop Trail from the trailhead.
Views are at their most spectacular where the trail crosses Bommer Canyon. Enjoy vistas of the surrounding hills and the affluent neighborhoods nestled amongst them. At the entrance to Turtle Rock, head north on the Turtle Rock Trail for a pleasant tour through the neighborhood and ultimate emergence on the popular University Trail.
At trail's end, turn right on the Bonita Canyon Trail to reach Irvine's University High School, or cross the road and turn left on the trail to reach the edge of Newport Beach.
Parking for the Shady Canyon Trail is available at the Quail Hill Trailhead (34 Shady Canyon Drive) in Irvine.