Bell View Trail to Flag Summit: OC’s Scenic Hike to a Flag

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3.2 Miles


~2.5 Hrs



Best Time to Visit

Oct – Early June

Elevation Gain

1,167 Ft

Want to take awesome pictures with an American flag and see panoramic views as far as the ocean? I have a special treat for you!

The Bell View Trail to Flag Summit is a moderately difficult 3.2-mile roundtrip hike located in Trabuco Canyon within the Santa Ana Mountains. Most of the trail consists of a sunny dirt road with a decent elevation gain of 1167. Dogs are allowed.


Map of Bell View Trail to Flag Summit


Directions & Parking

For directions on your Google Maps, click here.

The trailhead is on Robinson Ranch Rd, near Trabuco Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita. There is no parking lot, but there’s plenty of parking along the street.

The Adventure

The hike begins in a tiny green park on the side of the road. Parking on the street is allowed. You’ll see two trailheads so make sure to take the one on the left.

The majority of the hike will consist of a dirt road but don’t underestimate this road as it can get pretty steep in some sections as you get closer to Flag Summit.

There are tons of cacti and succulents along the trail. Definitely keep an eye out for some unique-looking plants and insects.

I’ve yet to see any like the ones here at Trabuco Canyon. We spotted giant red beetles and bright purple flowers to name a few! (More on those flowers later).

After the two big “switchbacks” you’ll come to a road split. You can head either left or right, but I highly recommend taking a right because this section of the trail becomes a single track with a bit more shade.

You can take the route to your left on your way back from the summit. (Need help? Check out our Map!)

The single track is denser with vegetation. Hence why it’s a more interesting route.

The single track comes to an abrupt end by merging with the dirt road from the first section of the hike.

You should be able to clearly see the flag from this point.

Almost there, just one last stretch!

The view at the top is breathtaking, to say the least. Even on a hazy day, you can clearly see the ocean and the cargo ships making their way to the Long Beach Port.

If you turn your back to the sea you’ll find yourself face to face with a majestic mountain range towering over you. You can’t get enough regardless of where you look.

One last aerial shot of the summit. Look at that beautiful golden sunset.

I really enjoyed this hike in Orange County. There were tons of beautiful and unique wildflowers and nice views.

This is a great hike if you’re looking for something a little more patriotic around Independence Day!

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Hello, There!

I’m Phillip, and just like you, I feel very passionate about California and the outdoors. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, I thought I’d share them with you. Life goes by fast so get out there and enjoy it.  

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