Dana Point, California

Hike the Salt Creek Trail

3 Miles Total - 20 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Grant

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. 

Read More

Tags

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

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great time

Super fun trail to walk and watch the ocean

Great for the whole family

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Fallbrook, California

Glamping In A Spacious Fallbrook Rv

Enjoy picturesque mountain and valley views from the spacious RV located in beautiful Fallbrook, California. Nestled on a 44 acre property with a small, active, eucalyptus farm you can get away fro...

From $125/night

Fallbrook, California

Fallbrook Campsite On Eucalyptus Farm

Picturesque mountain and valley views from this 44 acre hidden property with small, active, eucalyptus farm. Live the camping lifestyle out in the natural setting or for a change of pace, visit the...

From $55/night

Fallbrook, California

Glamping In A Tiny House On A Farm In Fallbrook

Enjoy picturesque views and total relaxation on a small, working Eucalyptus Farm in beautiful Fallbrook, California. Enjoy total privacy and breathtaking northern mountain views, while at the same ...

From $145/night

Fallbrook, California

Bring Your Tent To This Beautiful Fallbrook Farm

Picturesque mountain and valley views from this 44 acre hidden property with small, active, eucalyptus farm. Live the camping lifestyle out in the natural setting or for a change of pace, visit the...

From $55/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Surf Salt Creek

    There are two HUGE parking lots off of PCH, so parking isn't an issue (unless it's on a weekend in the summer, then it does get full). This is a paid lot with a few pay stations located around the parking lot, and they take cash and credit/ debit ...

  • Walk the Dana Point Preserve Trail

    Ocean views the whole time, plenty of wildlife and different species of native plants make this short hike beautiful. With the hike being short enough to complete in the afternoon after a day at the beach you can see a beautiful view of the coastl...

    0.5 miles

  • Stand Up Paddle Dana Point Harbor

    Whether I’m looking for a quick workout on the water, wanting to catch some waves, or simply explore the coastline, Dana Point is one of my favorite places to paddle. There is plenty of parking close to the beach, so you don’t have to walk far wit...

  • Explore Tide Pools at Dana Point

    If you're ever driving on the 5 between San Diego and Los Angeles and traffic is miserable (always), consider making a stop at Dana Point to check out the tide pools. The best place is behind the Ocean Institute which offers plenty of free parking...