Located where Interstate 5 freeway splits into the 405 (The El Toro “Y”), the city of Laguna Hills is an upscale suburban community located in southern Orange County, California. Its name is derived from its proximity to Laguna Canyon and the much older Laguna Beach.
Historically, Laguna Hills is built on a major land grant from Mexico to Don Juan Avila in 1821. In 1874, Lewis Moulton purchased the 13,000-acre ranch from Avila, and it became part of the even larger 22,000-acre Moulton Ranch where Lewis and his partner, Jean Piedra Daguerre, raised sheep and cattle. Part of this ranch later became Laguna Hills when it was subdivided in the early 1960s, and then incorporated as a city in 1991. Later annexations of the North city area in 1996 and the “Westside” annexation in 2000 make up the Laguna Hills area of today.
The city features a diverse variety of attractions: Laguna Hills Mall with over 100 specialty and well-known department stores; some of Orange County’s best medical facilities; a Community Center & Sports complex; 13 community parks; many fine restaurants; and two renowned fossil sites — Costeau Park and Fossil Reef Park.