Headlands Bluff Walk (P.O.I.)

Trip date: 9/14/2014

Location: Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center

Permit/Pass: None required, but parking can be limited on busy weekends.

Directions: From Interstate 5 take the Camino Las Ramblas exit for Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point. As you pass beneath the Dana Point welcome overpass slide into the left lane for the left turn onto Dana Point Harbor Dr. After turning, pass through a light before veering right along the north side of the marina. Going straight through another light brings you to a turning circle past which you'll continue on. Just after the road veers left there is a right turn onto Cove Rd. Take this road and head up the hill. Turn left on Green Lantern St. (which turns into Scenic Dr.) and follow it as it turns to the north and climbs to a dead-end at the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center. The trail begins just on the other side of the building.

Maps/Guides: NA

Synopsis: A nice, easy walk and a great way to end the day. There are often views of Catalina And San Clemente islands and there are nearly always boats plying the waters below. You can listen to the sea lions hanging out on the whistle buoy just off the point while watching the sun set. If you get lucky, and it's the right time of year, you may even spot some gray whales.

Trail sequence: Bluff trail

Type: Out and back

Distance: 0.9 miles

Elevation: Min: 114', Max: 242'


Rating: Easy (factors: heat) 

Trail notes: An industrious individual might combine the Dana Headlands kayak trip, the Tidepools and Sea Cave hike, and this trip for three different (water, beach and bluff) perspectives on the same spot. This is a nice place for sunset pictures.

Track: Headlands Bluff Walk - Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center

Turn by turn:

  -- Pick up the sidewalk on the west side of the visitor center building and follow it down next to the road to the gated entry.

  -- Once through the gate the walk is straightforward. There are short spurs that take the hiker to benches and views.

  -- The sandy trail terminates at another gate next to a road and some condominiums. (It is possible to continue the walk, but it will be on paved areas and follow mostly busy roads.)

  -- Retrace your steps to the visitor center (worth a short visit) and your car.


Photos: Flickr