Dana Point Harbor - Dana Point Beach Trail

Dana Point, California 92624

Dana Point Harbor - Dana Point Beach Trail

Dana Point Harbor - Dana Point Beach Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"“The most romantic spot in California,” Richard Henry Dana called it in his classic seafaring account, Two Years Before the Mast. Today, Dana Harbor’s boosters are not at all shy about making that same claim for romance. Some visitors will certainly find romance in a sunset stroll by the yacht harbor and in enjoying a fine dinner at a waterside restaurant. Other visitors, those who like to hike anyway, may just find some romance in traipsing a bit of old California—a boulder-strewn beach below the towering bluffs of Dana Point—a remnant of the wild coastline that greeted Dana when he arrived at the cove that in those bygone days was the only major harbor between Santa Barbara and San Diego. The hike begins at Orange County’s Ocean Institute, which offers marine life exhibits and classroom instruction to students of all ages. The Institute has an ambitious program of classes and field trips."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Orange County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster)
John McKinney
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"This walk’s destination is a bronze statue of a hide drogher, captured in mid-toss. Very old dictionaries define “drogher” as the small vessel transporting goods from ship to shore and vice versa. Apparently a sailor who transported hides by tossing them from cliff to shore was referred to a drogher in those bygone days. As you walk atop the tall bluffs, you’ll observe that Dana Point is more than a point: it includes seven miles of bluffs, a city, located about halfway between L.A. and San Diego, with more than 35,000 residents, and a harbor with slips and moorings for 2,500 boats."
Afoot & Afield: Orange County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
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"The sea cliffs at Dana Point are revered by historians as the site where Spanish vaqueros threw hides over the cliffs and down to waiting ships as described in Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast. The sheer cliffs remain, but the 2,500-slip Dana Point Marina occupies much of the coastline below. Just west of that marina, though, you’ll find a fine wild stretch of rocky beach and dramatic headland, a little piece of old California that you can fully explore during low tides."

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Trail Information

Dana Point
Nearby City
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
1.5
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level

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