Hike to Terranea Beach Sea Caves

Pelican Cove Parking Lot

Duration: 1 hour. Short and easy hike to one of the best caves in the South Bay. Scenic rocky shoreline with plenty of tide pools filled with marine life to discover. Best during low tide for easy access to the sea cave.

Head to the Pelican Cove parking lot where there’s plenty of free parking right at the trailhead. From the parking lot, take the Point Vicente trail and you will see views of the Point Vicente lighthouse down the coast to your right. Continue on the trail through the luxury Terranea Resort which is home to Nelson’s restaurant, where you can grab a bite to eat after exploring. As you continue, check out the tide pools on your right and take some time to discover the different marine life that calls this area home. Be sure to check the surf report and go during low tide for easy access to the sea cave.

After leaving the tide pools, you’ll pass the restrooms and showers and beach access is not too far in the distance. You can often see dolphins swimming in the distance from the telescopes on the bluffs. One of my favorite parts of this beach is listening to the unique sound of the water rushing back into the ocean as it passes over the irregularly shaped rocks. Once you make it to the beach, climb over the rocks on the far left side to get to the cave. During low tide, climbing down into the cave for a photo op with Catalina Island in the distance is super easy.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Sun block
  • Sun glasses
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Nice area but not much of a hike

Like few mentioned here before, I don’t think the trail that was first mentioned is here anymore or labeled differently. I did try the trails that were available and it felt more like a nice small walk that lasted maybe 10-20 minutes. However, being that it’s at a resort location, the views were nice and clean. However, if you’re making a long drive out here to expect a good hike, I’d suggest somewhere else. Great views though!

Love

Loved this hike! So beautiful and I love walking across the rocks.

Good Hike

Really easy hike! Short, simple, and instructions were easy to follow. Beautiful beach! Found the caves and had an amazing and fun photo opt! Pet friendly also. I brought my German/Australian shepherd here. She did really well climbing up the rocks to get to the caves. However she's afraid of water and couldn't climb down to the caves. Overall, I felt like it was a great chill hike! Only complaint was that it was way too crowded on the trail and the trails pretty narrow for the amount of people. Maybe I just went on a busy day. But I would definitely come back!


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