Point Dume Nature Preserve has one of the best views you will find anywhere along the Southern California coast. On a clear day, you can see the Malibu coast to Santa Monica.
The preserve is 32 acres and has several fenced trails, one leading to the summit of the Point Dume the other to the beach below. Stay on the trail this is a protected area. Keep a close watch on children there are many steep drops to the ocean below.
There is a viewing platform along the boardwalk below the summit where you can sit and enjoy the million-dollar view. The summit trail branches off to another trail which leads you down a steep set of stairs to Dume Cove.
At the end of Point Dume, there is a smaller secluded beach (Pirates Cove.) This is where the final scenes from the original Planet of the Apes movie were filmed.
If you decide to hike down to the beach remember the climb back up is steep. The beach is usually quiet even during the summer due to the remote location. There are some tide pools near the stairway to explore or you can take a walk along the beach and enjoy the spectacular views.
The drive along PCH from Santa Monica takes you past movie star beachfront homes and through the world-famous Malibu Beach. On your journey expect to see exotic cars and huge mansions overlooking the beach.
The trip to the preserve is almost as interesting as the destination. Bring along a camera there is a new photo opportunity at every turn of the road.
Point Dume is at the northernmost point of Santa Monica Bay about 18 miles along Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica.
Getting to Point Dume
From Santa Monica follow Pacific Coast Highway 18-miles west to Westward Beach Road. Turn toward the ocean, go past the gate (pay parking fee) to the very end of the road. A trail leads you to the Point Dume Preserve.
Parking Point Dume Nature Preserve
A smaller free parking area is on top of the bluff along Cliffside Drive. There are only about 15 parking spots so it’s a matter of luck if you get one unless you go early in the day.
All the streets are no parking and chances are you will get a ticket if you park on the street. The reserve is surrounded by multi-million dollar estates and the locals do not want visitors parking in front of their homes. The state of California has preserved the best location for all of us to enjoy even if the parking is limited.
Directions to Point Dume
Directions: From Santa Monica follow Pacific Coast Highway 18-miles west to Westward Beach Road. Turn toward the ocean then past 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 on the rise, at the foot of the hill.