Hike Shell Beach Bluff and Ontario Ridge

Los Angeles Avila Beach

Added by Drew Robinson

  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 675 ft
  • Walk along the coastline
  • Explore the caves of Pirate's Cove
  • Climb the ridge to look down on the beach

Starting on Shell Beach Bluff Trail is the perfect way to warm up your legs before climbing Ontario Ridge. It’s a relatively flat and incredibly well maintained path that runs right along the coast. The views are simply stunning.

After walking to the parking lot that signifies the end of Shell Beach Bluff Trail, you can continue onto El Portal Drive and make your way up to Ontario Ridge.

As you arrive at the crest of the ridge, the shoreline views of Shell Beach are incredible. The top of the ridge offers views to the west of the coastline and ocean. From here, you begin heading towards the steep downhill to the parking lot, where you'll continue on to the Pirate’s Cove Trail to visit the caves.

This is a hangout for college students, so it's not always the cleanest path. That being said, the views and history of the area make it worth a trip. At the trail junction, head right, or you will end up at a “clothing optional” beach. Continue on towards the cave, and enjoy the ocean views.

Pack List

  • Hiking essentials
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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How to Get There

8 months ago

Epic View!

Always a great hike with fantastic ocean views.

8 months ago

9 months ago

Absolutely beautiful

9 months ago

Added by Drew Robinson

trailtopeak.com // Instagram: @trailtopeak

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