Outdoor ActivitiesOutdoor Advice

The Best Beach Hikes In Southern California! — 8 Picks For You!

Summer is already here! And you know what’s the best thing to do in summer, especially when you are in the California area, right? The splash of waves, the cool breeze air of the sea, basking under the sun, and others are the common themes we usually see during summer. But if you want something more than a seaside trip, you must try the best beach hikes of Southern California. I’m looking at you, hikers! It’s your time to roll out on the Californian paradise.

If you are living within Southern California or near California, why not take this chance to go on a hike. After all, this region offers scenic views surrounded by mountain ranges and hills. This is your perfect moment to hang! That said, let’s see some of the best beach hikes around Southern California.

The best beach hikes in southern California! — 8 Picks For You!

Let’s get into the details right ahead and see what you think it’s great for your next beach hike. In my opinion, it’s best to experience them all (only if you have time).

Fort Funston Coastal Trail

Location: Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132, United States

Fort Funston was originally built as a harbor defense installation bracing for naval attacks. But now, it’s an old fashion fort and the perfect place to look around the remnants of heavy weaponry, missiles, and 16 inch guns Batter Davis around San Francisco.

This is a must-visit if you are an aficionado of military history. Aside from that, it’s also an excellent spot for beach hikers.

If you want to hike in this area, you better brace yourself for a long trail. The trail spans about 2.5 miles and preferable for experienced or moderate hikers.

That’s why this is not easy for beginner hikers. Also, if you are not used to rough winds, you might get distracted because you know, it’s beachside and you can expect winds.

Upon arriving in the area and hiking on the cliffs or the observation deck, you can see the vast sea of the Pacific Ocean. You can see some birds, historic sites, and some wildflowers.

Also, there are a lot of things you can do here besides sightseeing some old weaponry and hiking. You know that this is also dubbed as doggie heaven.

So, if you have an adventurous pet, this can be her perfect spot to do some outdoor activities. Plus, you can also do some hang gliding. Doing all these activities other than hiking is so much fun and fulfillment.

Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail

Location: California Coastal Trail, Pacifica, CA, United States

Don’t be swayed by the name. Because this trail is fairly easy for beginner hikers. The overall trail length is about 2.6 miles round trip. This hiking spot used to be a part of the Pacific Coast Highway. In 2014, the Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail is opened to bikers, hikers, and to everyone.

Hikers can start their trail at the end of the new Devil’s Slide Bypass Tunnel. The surroundings are very scenic because of the cliffs and it’s facing the Pacific Ocean.

Watch out for whales and unique birds as well. If ever you feel the need to rest, there are benches along the way for relaxation and quick rest.

Also, there are lots of convenient amenities provided, such as bike racks, waste stations, pet waste stations, and restrooms.

You can easily go for a quick break or tend your dog’s waste if ever you are going here. Basically, this is great for family bonding who want to hike along the coast.

So, if you are a weekend warrior, be sure to go in here and experience it yourself. Only be advised because it’s often crowded during weekends. Just make sure you read their guidelines and abide by their rules when you are inside of the trail.

Tuna Canyon (Malibu, LA)

Location: Malibu, CA

Although this is not near the beach, what this offers is a different view. It offers a spectacular view overlooking Santa Monica Bay. The hike is for any type of hikers, beginners are also welcome but be sure they have some company that is experienced. The Tuna Canyon Trails is 3.8 miles long.

Tunya Canyon has a stunning mini forest and an expanse of grass. Upon reaching the highest peak, you can see Santa Monica Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and also the green mountain ranges along California.

Not only this is excellent for hikes, but it’s also good for bikers, runners, and also for dogs (although it must be leashed).

Because this is a know local tourist spot and residents often come here, the parking lot can fill up so fast, especially during the weekend. More people are flocking here spending good time to reconnect with nature. Also, this is among the basic trail hike if you want to hike. Perfect for starters and for practice.

Tuna Canyon Trails is popular because of the unique and strange spiral of rocks. Probably this is among my best beach hikes in Southern California. Don’t forget your sunscreen and other essential gear when taking a beach hike.

Abalone Cove to Del Cerro Park

Location: Palos Verdes, LA

They say Palos Verdes is hidden n, Los Angeles. This beach hiking spot is somewhat peaceful because it’s a bit far away from the city. People who go to this area are often enjoying the stunning views not to mention the ocean views.

In the daytime, you can see the beautiful verdure of trees below and the vast open sea. Perfect if you want to refresh and unwind after a long struggle in work and other pressures.

That’s why this is the best option to go for a beach hike. It’s beginner-friendly because the trail is just a mile long. No need for strenuous walking. The beach hiking spot is perfect also for biking, jogging, and other family bonding activities. You can also bring your dog here, but be sure she is on a leash to avoid any trouble.

If you want a more challenging trail, you can choose the uphill trails from Klondike to Portuguese Canyon. The peak in this trail also offers a stunning view of the ocean, although this is not advisable for the faint of heart.

But the highlight in this area is the picturesque view and it’s definitely worth your time spending here. That’s why I also included this as one of my best beach hikes in Southern California.

El Moro Canyon Loop Trail

Location: California, USA

By far, this is fairly difficult for experienced hikers. Level up your trail while it’s summer in El Moro Canyon Loop Trail. Spanning about 5 miles so this requires more stamina and physical fitness.

Completing this trail will take you approximately 2 hours or more. The beginning of the trail is steep, but after that, it will become relatively easy.

Hikers will also love the cool breeze and the ocean views at the end of the trail. Also, this is also used by bikers, runners, and even horseback riders.

The elevation is somewhat high which is 800 feet. The views are interesting and really worth it. The coastal landscape is also great and the overall scenery.

I suggest going here on Sunday early morning. The cool breeze from the sea and the nice sound of the ocean is your accompaniment while hiking.

This gives you more time with yourself and you also practice mindfulness. So, spending your time here in the El Moro Canyon loop is absolutely a great idea if you want to detoxify yourself from stress.

All in all, the beach hike is kid-friendly, perfect for other amusement like horseback riding, hiking, and others. Although no dogs allowed in the area.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Location: San Diego, CA

This stunning beach hike spot is probably what you want for your next big hike in the summer. The trail spans about 2 to 4 miles of beach hikes.

Torrey Pines Reserve has a lot of spectacular views to offer and it has many entry points. Actually, this spot remains one of the wildest stretches. Plus, if you see the magnificent coastline, I think you will be completely amazed by it.

The thing about this is it has numerous trails to choose from and it’s both for beginners and even intermediate. The trail maps are hand-curated. The walking trails are super fun.

Perfect for hikers campers, and nature lovers. There are many plants to be seen here and it’s really large because you can see the Southern Californian ecosystem which is a must-visit.

If you are in for a day of beach hikes in Southern California, you can’t miss this place. Only there’s no overnight camping in here which is meant to protect the ecosystem.

But if you want peace and quietness, this is probably what you want to visit. So, better pack your towels, hats, and camera as you venture along with the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Remember, you need to park at the other end.

Border Field State Park

Location: San Diego, CA

One of the most famous beach hikes in Southern California is the Border Field, State Park. The location is near the border of Mexico and the United States.

Besides the magnificent vast ocean view, you can also see some wildlife here. You also get to see the Tijuana river. If you are in for birdwatching then, this is the perfect setting for you while you are on a beach hike.

Not only that, the park offers surf fishing, birding, and even horse trails. The national park has picnic areas, displays, and restrooms.

If you haven’t planned your weekend right now or in the future, better consider this as one of your bucket lists for beach hikes down in Southern California. Even though the walk is 2 and a 1/5 miles long, you will never notice it because you are so preoccupied with the sound of waves and the birds.

Great for family and also for beginner hikers to spend the time here. So, enjoy some quick strolls and also enjoy the beach during summer.

Now is the perfect time to go to shorelines and enjoy the ocean view while the weather is perfect and without any hindrance. Just don’t forget your essential kit for your beach activities. This is what you need for your days of stress and pressure.

San Clemente State Beach

Location: San Clemente, California

Another awesome and stunning beach hikes to explore is San Clemente State Beach. The views are very pleasing to the eye because of the ocean view.

The overall beach trails are perfectly easy for you. You may want to bring your kids with you and also your dogs. The beach trails span about 4.5 miles.

There are many options you can choose to hike and you can turn around at any point. And because it’s in Southern California, this is probably among the best beach hikes you will ever encounter, especially if you are in search of a seashell.

There is a nearby pier and the distance is only about halfway along the stretch of beach. The pier offers a perfect spot for spectacular views of the ocean, a perfect place for a photo op, and also for fishing. There are also some establishments there such as restaurants and coffee shops.

It’s so easy to get lost on this beach because it’s the perfect moment for yourself and also to practice mindfulness while you are beach hiking. So, if ever you are finished with your beach hike, you can just relax and sip an up of coffee or milkshake after.

Beach Hiking Tips

Coastal hiking is something to experience. If you want to take a break from your regular hike and the view of lush greeneries, forest, and mountain ranges, it’s great to set foot in one of the coastal hiking spots for another set of challenges. But before you do that, I have some tips for you.

Water Filter

Because most of the water sources in coastal hikes have tea-colored water, you need to bring some purifier or water filter to become drinkable water. The fact the water there has tannins coming from the vegetations in the bogs and swamps. But it will be a no problem for you if you have some water filter with you. But make sure you know how to clean it in the field so it will not clog.

Use Hiking Poles (When Necessary)

Most of the time you are going to walk on the sands, mud, marsh, and slippery rocks. Better to use a hiking pole in this situation. This allows you to retain your balance in the uneven terrain. They are not only for mountain hikes but also for different types of hikes where the terrain is complex. And you will thank yourself if you have invested in one of these poles because it’s a lifesaver.

Walk Barefoot for Short Distances

Because it’s the most suitable thing to do. You can fully enjoy your beach hike especially when you walk barefoot. The sand will soothe your feet as you walk. Never mind the uneven sand terrain. Enjoy the softness and warmth as you beach hike all your way. But, go barefoot only for short distances only or if you are new to beach walking. Over time, you can try this if you think you can already.

Final Thoughts

The best beach hikes in Southern California are already listed. It’s time for you to go and try one of these or you can make this as your personal bucket list if you want some challenge. Beach hiking is more fun when it’s summer. The calm and sounds of ocean waves are your best therapy and also the scenic views.

Just don’t forget to bring your essential needs. I hope you will enjoy seeing one of these. Be sure to tell us here what are your thoughts or experience with these beach hike spots.