Explore El Matador Beach

Los Angeles El Matador Beach

Added by Kyle Huber

El Matador is home to gorgeous rock formations and caves with amazing sunsets and sunrises. This is also a great place to try different lenses, exposures and action shots.

There's something magical about this strip of beach and it never fails to deliver at sunset. Lined with strange and jagged rock formations/caves, there are endless opportunities for finding unique compositions and new perspectives. Although it's become quite the popular spot for photographers and wedding photos, most people tend to clear out around sunset for some reason. My favorite sunsets here have been when the tide is low and the beach is easier to navigate. That being said, certain spots aren't really accessible by foot when the water level is too high. Either way, you can almost always expect to find birds perched perfectly on the tip of rocks and gorgeous colors in the sky.

I recommend utilizing free parking on the PCH (opposite side of the road from the beach) and walking past the state beach parking area (must pay before leaving your car) to the dirt trail that leads you down to the beach. You'll walk past a picnic table area and then down a slightly dangerous (thank you erosion) path that eventually turns into stairs that bring you to the sand. This beach is great for a picnic lunch, laying out in the sun with friends, finding a peaceful spot to read a book and of course, taking photos. Explore the rock caves (don't forget the ones built into the rock cliffs) and soak in the beauty around you. Note: You'll want to walk up the beach in a Northern direction away from the residential homes and stay off the steep staircases for your safety.

Photo Tips: I tend to prefer shooting during the 10-15 min after the sun slips over the horizon because the colors in the sky really pop during that time. Plus, the sun usually creates evil glares when you aim your phone's camera lens directly at it. From my experience, the lighting after sunset is usually perfect for capturing silhouettes and for long exposure photography.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Flash light
  • Snacks
  • Water
Read More



Chillin, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

The best sunset spot

One of the most scenic LA beaches!

about 2 months ago

4 months ago

Great Scenery

Love this beach! It's a sweet little spot to take Someone who wants to experience the PCH

4 months ago

5 months ago

My Favorite

This beach is incredibly beautiful both sunrise and sunset.

5 months ago

7 months ago

Romantic Sunset!

When someone asks me what the best place is to view the sunset here in the valley, I always tell them El Matador State Beach. Great for taking sunset photographs, plus the rock formations in this beach completes the picture! Place can get too crowded so visit either very early or you can also stay til after the sun has set (nice place to go stargazing, too!)

7 months ago

10 months ago

Extremely Beautiful Views!

Make sure to go during the winter time. Same beautiful scenery and way less crowded. Park along the PCH as recommended by the author - as parking at El Matador is very limited.

10 months ago

10 months ago


So pretty

10 months ago

about 1 year ago

Fun for the Caves

Depending on the tide, you can go in the caves and walk right through them to the other side. They are located in the large rocks n the water out from the shore. A beautiful place to go during the weekdays when it's less crowded. A very good chance you will see a professional photo shoot going on

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This place is PACKED on the weekends. I try to get in early on a weekday and explore before the tide comes in.

over 1 year ago

Added by Kyle Huber

Graphic designer. Obsessive creator.
 Missouri raised, California amazed.
 iPhone 5s & Drone (Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter)

More Adventures Nearby

Run the Old Youth Camp Loop

Los Angeles / Stough Canyon Nature Center

The Old Youth Camp Loop is a 2.6-mile loop with over 700 feet of elevation gain that can be ran, hiked, or even mountain biked if you prefer.

Kayak the Marina Del Rey Harbor

Los Angeles / Marina Beach (Mother's Beach)

The Marina Del Rey harbor covers 1.5 square miles making it the world’s largest small-craft harbor.

Be inspired at Watts Towers

Los Angeles / Watts Towers of Simon Rodia SHP

Watts Towers are a quick 15-20 minute ride from Downtown Los Angeles on the Metro.

Joe Ankenbauer
3 Saves