Located on Rosecrans Avenue, near Beach Boulevard, the Hawks Pointe Trail is a two-mile out and back. It begins as an uphill battle and then loops around the water tower and into a La Mirada cul-de-sac.
Hikers and mountain bikers use this trail as a way of conditioning as the uphill climb can be strenuous.
Know before you go:
Rosecrans Avenue is the starting point, just east of Beach Boulevard. Parking is available on the street, but the best bet is to use the baseball field parking lot if it’s open.
Blink, and you may miss the trailhead entrance located on the north sidewalk of Rosecrans Avenue.
Bring plenty of water and some snacks for the hike. Unfortunately, there are no places to refill on the trail.
Cell phone service is available on the trail allowing for instant uploads to social media, be sure to keep a camera on the ready.
On the trail:
You’ll know you’ve found the trailhead when you see the wooden handrails that guide the ascent. Once you get going, you will notice that the trail wraps around and behind the baseball field to the right and a residential area to the left.
The first photo opportunity can be found to the right, as you see a sign that says the area is closed off for wilderness preservation. Hawks point is visible from that angle and will appear in the photo.
About a third of a mile into the hike, the trail levels out a bit before crossing Muir Trail Drive. Once the ascent begins again, you might notice something peculiar for a hiking trail. The terrain changes from dirt to rocks, and the wooden handrails change to vinyl plastic rails.
Rest stops and scenic views:
“This is a fun trail. I see a lot of people on their bikes. I’ve even actually seen horses! This trail is a little challenging. If you’re doing it for the first time, I recommend going up to the first rest stop,” said Luis Otero, Orange County resident and frequent water tower trail hiker.
On a clear day, it’s possible to see the high-rise buildings of downtown Los Angeles to the northwest. You can easily spot Knott’s Berry Farm’s Sky Cabin’s “K,” and Supreme Scream attraction rides to the southwest.
The last third of the hike remains, and the ascent becomes a little more difficult. Water and snacks come in handy for those who do not want to stop at the rest stop and are more concerned with breaking a sweat.
Once the uphill degree angle drops, the water tower is near, and you have reached the summit. If you make a hard left, instead of going around the water tank, a scenic view and rest stop await.
“If you’re going to be on this trail, just bring some water. It’s a nice hike up to the water tower but it does get dry. If you’re going to make it up all the way to the water tower. I would say the difficulty level is at a six or seven,” said Christian Escobedo, a Cal State Fullerton student who is majoring in Liberal Arts.
The rest stop is complimented with small shade trees and large boulders to sit on. In addition to what was mentioned earlier, the Pacific Ocean can be seen from Long Beach to Newport Beach.
The trail continues down and ends at a cul-de-sac in a residential area in La Mirada. For anyone feeling adventurous, the chain-linked fence to the right of the water tower has an opening that separates from the trail and leads into coyote hills.
Although this is not part of the newly acquired 24 acres of Coyote Hills by the city of Fullerton and there is signage indicating the land is private property some people do take a right into the opened area. There they’ll find washed away roads, rusted metal pipes and signage indicating where each of the oil rigs once stood. Remnants of a bustling oil field that has been encroached on by the Southern California sprawl.
The entire hike takes around an hour and a half, depending on how many breaks you take. The views are breathtaking, and the hike can be as challenging as you choose to make it.
What to do after:
Cross Rosecrans Avenue to Ralph B. Clark Park to wind down on the easy trails and enjoy the rest of the day by the pond.