Walk the Dana Point Preserve Trail



0.5 miles

Route Type


Added by Douglas Hall

Think all Dana Point has are beautiful beaches? This will change your mind! Perfect little hike in a nature preserve!

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 coastline north and south.

There is plenty of parking inside the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center and before you get to the center along the west side of the street. The parking is beautiful along the street as you can overlook the southern coast line from the seat of your car!

The hike totals in about half a mile long there and back, it's a beautiful little hike with benches and information spots in little turn offs along the trail. These information spots discuss information about species of animals and plants that are in the preserve that you may see. There are different species of birds and plants that I got to see while hiking, there is minimal elevation gain but there is some. You start the trail by descending down towards the cliffs from the Interpretive Center, after heading towards the cliffs you parallel them as you head north. The trail then curves back upward towards the housing tracks and then to a gate. Turn around at this gate as you will only be in a housing track afterwards.

Be sure to bring water with you as it is southern California and you will be in the sun the entire time while walking on the trail. The trail is great for running or hiking, the trail is slightly sandy and not good for wheelchairs, there are stair steps.

Here is a link to the Dana Point Preserve, you can find some other parks and things to do in the area on the website! 

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Know for

Easy Parking
Family Friendly



Leave a Review

🥇Top Contributor

9 months ago

Perfect for sunset

Came here to photograph sunset, it was amazing. I brought along a telephoto lens to compress the landscape's layers and it turned out great.

🥇Top Contributor

almost 3 years ago

Views for Days

It's not a long/ difficult hike by any means but the views are incredible. From Strands/Salt Creek all the way to the Dana Point Harbor and San Clemente you can see it all. It's sandy so you can't bring strollers but definitely family friendly.

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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.

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