Located near Malibu, Point Dume offers coastal trails, unparalleled ocean scenery, tide pooling, and stunning wildflower blooms in the spring. With only 347 feet in elevation gain, it’s a quick and easy hike that offers many rewards.
|Length||1.5 miles (bluffs hike)|
|Elevation Gain/Loss||347 feet/-347 feet|
|Trailhead Coordinates||34.002682, -118.808781|
Getting to Point Dume
From Santa Monica follow Pacific Coast Highway 18-miles west to Westward Beach Road. Turn toward the ocean, go beyond the fee collection station to the very end of the road.
From the 101-Freeway, exit at Kanan Road, follow it south 12-miles to Pacific Coast Highway, then turn right. Westward Beach Road is over the rise, at the foot of the hill.
There are two options for parking, free street parking along Westward Beach Road or paid parking in the lot closer to the point.
Point Dume State Beach and Natural Preserve
Point Dume is a promontory in Malibu that defines the northern end of Santa Monica Bay. The point’s high coastal bluffs offer views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Santa Catalina Island.
Along the point’s shoreline, 63 acres of the beach have been set aside as Point Dume State Beach, which is managed by California State Parks.
Point Dume Natural Preserve in Malibu, California, is a 32-acre nature reserve on top of the points tall bluffs that is home to a variety of plant and animal life, making it a great place for nature lovers to explore.
Point Dume is well known for its jagged bluffs that offer excellent opportunities for watching sunsets and whale watching (during the right season). The preserve is also a great place for birdwatching, as it is home to a variety of different bird species, including brown pelicans, plovers, wrens, roadrunners,
burrowing owls, falcons, and hawks.
Other creatures you may encounter are coyotes, skunks, raccoons, ground squirrels, and rabbits in broad daylight. The preserve is also home to several species of butterflies, snakes, and lizards.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. Dogs are allowed in the park, but must be kept on a leash at all times.
The trail to the top of the bluffs starts at the southern end of the paid parking lot, where the beach ends near the point. If you parked along Westward Beach Road, you can walk along the beach to get to the trailhead (or through the paid lot, but the beach is nicer).
If you feel like a small detour before you’ve even started hiking, near the trailhead there is a short trail closer to the ocean that will bring you to a small cove and Pirates Beach.
From the main trailhead, the trail begins to climb steeply from the beach up to the bluffs overlooking the point.
You’ll climb a little over a third of a mile to the top of the bluffs. Once on top, there are several interconnected trails in the nature reserve to explore. The primary loop trail around the top of the point will bring you to an overlook that gives you terrific views of the coastline and ocean.
If you’re lucky you’ll see seals and dolphins in the water below, and on clear days you can see Catalina Island off in the distance. The sweeping views make it excellent for watching the sunset, and the trail is easy to navigate after dark.
On the south side of the loop trail on the bluffs, a spur trail called will bring you down to Big Dume Beach, which is on the south side of the promontory. The trail drops you at the northern end of a cove called Dume Cove. This is a rocky stretch of beach and a great place to go tide pooling during low tides.
See Also: If you enjoy this hike, you might also like some of the other hikes outlined in our guide to sunset hikes in the Los Angeles area.