Hike the Salt Creek Trail

Dana Point, California

Distance

3 Miles

Elevation Gain

20 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Grant Nyquist

Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Scenic

An awesome little hike with ocean views in the heart of Orange County

Starting from the Salt Creek Beach parking lot (a paid lot that takes cash, debit, and credit cards and charges by the hour. There are pay stations at a few points in the parking lots), you head west towards the ocean...through a tunnel and down the hill towards the beach. Once you get to the basketball court you can make a slight detour to the left and walk up the hill (on the Ritz Carlton property) to get an amazing view of the ocean, Salt Creek Beach, and up to Laguna Beach. 

Whether you take this side detour or not, the path will begin to hug the coast heading north, with the ocean on your left. You will walk past a huge grassy area, picnic tables, and the afore mentioned basketball court. This is the path you will stay on for roughly 1-1.5 miles...depending on how far you go and you may see some rabbits and deer. 

This is a paved path, with a dotted yellow line separating each side, which is shared with other hikers, walkers, runners, bike riders, etc. and it is dog friendly (and you'll see a fair amount of dogs). You will take this past the Monarch Beach Resort golf course, through a second tunnel, and all the way until you get to an overpass at Camino del Avion (the next tunnel you would go under). Note, you can take this for another 5+ miles since the trail hugs Crown Valley Parkway, but I only went as far as Camino del Avion. 

It's an easy, beautiful, family friendly hike that can be as long or as short as you'd like to make it. You can turn around at any point and reverse your steps to get back to your car. There is a "snack shack" on the beach here for a quick bite, or the Beach Hut Deli at the top for some awesome sandwiches and beer. 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great for the whole family

So much to see and do on this hike!!! Just great!!!

Distance

3 Miles

Elevation Gain

20 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Grant Nyquist

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Surf Salt Creek

Adventure

Walk the Dana Point Preserve Trail

Adventure

Stand Up Paddle Dana Point Harbor

Adventure

Explore Tide Pools at Dana Point

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