Upper Bay Trail


6 Reviews

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Upper Bay Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Orange
Length: 2.4 miles
Trail end points: Irvine Ave. and Santiago Dr. and Bayview Way and Jamboree Rd.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8622531

Upper Bay Trail Description

The short Upper Bay Trail arcs around the northern edge of the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve near the Newport Beach–Irvine city line. The protected estuary, home to six rare avian species, is considered to be one of the best birdwatching areas in North America.

The trail itself is situated on a bluff, offering expansive views of the bay. At the trail's eastern end on Jamboree Road, continue south on the sidewalk over the bridge to travel a much longer route into Irvine on the San Diego Creek Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Upper Bay Trail is available at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Interpretive Center on University Drive, southeast of Irvine Avenue. A small parking fee may be charged.

Upper Bay Trail Reviews

you can circumnavigate the entire Back Bay trail

You can continue beyond this mapped trail to use the trail on both the north- and south-side of the Back Bay trail and related / co-joined trails and use the sidewalk on the PCH to then join other trails and the cliff-top roads on the north-side to get to the Back Bay trail.


Very nice scenic trail. Good for walking and biking. I came with my son because this site suggested that one of the activities you could do is inline but there is a sign that no rollerskating is allowed. I would agree that maybe only a real experienced skater with less people it would be OK. Too many hills and fast bikes to skate safely. Other than that, I enjoyed the walk!

Salt and Sea water meet

Wonderfully enjoyable ride around the Back Bay where salt and fresh water meet. Usually quiet, horses and people seeking to stay healthy are what you will find on this lovely trail that connects to a wide variety of other trails (Back Bay loop, San Diego Creek and others) - yes the path is uneven in one specific spot- it is clearly marked - uneven - so slow down and be patient and you will be fine. As far as no bikes, as one other rider commented - I have ridden my pedal assist bike on it many many times as well as the surrounding trails and never had an issue. If you have seen signs otherwise it's time to appeal the decision. However it may be due to the horses and ebike riders (throttles only) that ride excessively fast. May be best to advocate for a speed limit rather than a bike type. Best to avoid busy times when strollers abound, but most on this trail know to walk to the side. There is a free parking lot adjacent to the nature center. The whole loop is ten miles and a terrific ride mostly off streets.

No Electric Bikes allowed

Was surprised to see that electric bikes were prohibited from the bike trail. There were cyclist going at least 30 mph just by pedaling alone. I don’t see the harm in a person using pedal assist or even an electric scooter going 10 mph. Other than that it’s a beautiful location!


Upper Newport Bay Trail/ Good for walkers

I've ridden on this path many a time going back to the early 90's. It's beautiful and quiet, but way too short to stand by itself unless you're a walker out for your daily 10,000 steps.
To make this worth your time, consider peddling up the San Diego Creek Trail which connects to it toward UCI to add some distance, or better yet, get on the Mountains to the Sea Trail road to head toward Balboa Island. We like to lock up our bikes on the island and enjoy a leisurely walk around the isle and then explore the village.
Best of all, from Balboa Island, take the ferry across the bay and get on the Newport Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk. You can make a day of it by going all the way up to Huntington Harbor!

The trestle/bridge segment needs immediate attention

There is a metal strip that separates the wooden walking/horse path from the asphalt portion. The metal strip can be slick. Numerous, serious biking accidents have been occurring on this portion of the trail. Cyclist are unaware of this hazard. You don't have to be going very fast to go down off this strip. Orange County parks has been notified. We have been told that they will be inspecting the area.

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