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The 10 Most Stunning Ocean View Hikes To Take in LA

​​Los Angeles isn’t just about Hollywood glam and gridlock. It’s also a hiker’s paradise! There are trails that weave through mountains, canyons, and, best of all, right along the stunning Pacific coastline. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a casual explorer looking for breathtaking ocean views, Los Angeles and its neighbor, Orange County, have something for everyone. Ditch the brunch lines and nourish your soul with an ocean hike that has some of the most stunning coastline views. Here are 10 breathtaking ocean hikes in Los Angeles.

1. El Matador State Beach

Location: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Difficulty: Easy

Malibu’s coastline has some of the most stunning beaches across the United States and El Matador is its crown jewel. This iconic spot isn’t just for the tide pools, you can hike the bluff-top trail for insane cliffside views, hidden coves, and rock formations that look like something out of a movie. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for whales offshore as you soak in the scenery too.

Pro-Tip: Parking is limited (20 spots, $8 fee), so we suggest going early enough to snag a good spot and also catch the sunrise.

Photo Source: Getty Images

2. Point Dume Trail

Location: Cliffside Dr. &, Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

Difficulty: Moderate

This easily accessible 1.5-mile loop offers moderate terrain which makes it perfect for ocean hikers of all levels. While you might recognize the iconic cliff that defines Point Dume, just south lies a treasure trove of tide pools full of sea urchins, crabs and sea stars. Spot the metal staircase and your tide pooling adventure begins! Open from sunrise to sunset, Point Dume State Park is home to stunning hiking trails and bluffs, ideal for some cardio followed by relaxing in the sand.

Pro-Tip: Stick around after sunset to stargaze! With minimal light pollution, the night sky explodes with twinkling stars that you don’t quite see everyday. Just make sure to bring a flashlight for navigating back in the dark.

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3. Leo Carrillo State Park Loop

Location: 35000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Difficulty: Moderate

The Leo Carrillo State Park is home to three different trails with varying lengths and difficulty. The ocean hike beach trail, generally considered a moderately challenging route, is a 5.1 mile out-and-back trail that takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, camping, and hiking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. This park is also home to two other trails, the Yellow Hill Trail and Nicholas Flats which both take about a total of 3-4 hours if you’re looking for something a bit more challenging. The trails are open year-round and are beautiful to visit anytime of the year.

Pro-Tip: You’ll need to leave pups at home — dogs aren’t allowed on this trail.

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4. Runyon Canyon

Location: 1901 Runyon Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Difficulty: Challenging

Hollywood’s most popular hike. This challenging hike takes you through chaparral to the top for iconic views of the Hollywood sign, the city skyline, and even the ocean on a clear day. Be prepared for inclines, switchbacks, and maybe even some celebrity sightings. Yup – you never know who you might bump into on this popular urban trail.

Pro-Tip: This trail can be very crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. Arrive early or go during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds.

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5. Top of The World 

Location: W Ridge, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

This easy to moderate out-and-back trail winds through Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park in Laguna Beach. While your furry friends are welcome on leashes, keep in mind the lack of shade throughout the route. Be sure to pack a hat and plenty of water for hot days, especially since parking near the trailhead is limited. There’s lots of different paths you can take that are easy to moderately challenging, but you’ll have panoramic ocean hike views from Catalina Island to Mt. Baldy the whole way through.

Pro-Tip: Overflow parking is available on Laguna Canyon Road, requiring a short walk through the neighborhood to reach the main trailhead.

Photo Source: CA Hiking Adventures

6. Aliso Peak Trail

Location: 22740 Talavera Dr, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Difficulty: Challenging

The Aliso Peak Trail, nestled within the confines of Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness Park, offers a distinct departure from the more frequented areas of the park. Accessible from the western edge of Seaview Park in Laguna Niguel, this trail leads to the summit of Aliso Peak, granting hikers breathtaking vistas of the Laguna coastline and ocean. It’s a place where one can truly immerse themselves in the serenity of nature, making it a standout among trails in the area.

Pro-Tip: Plan your hike during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, especially during the warmer months. This trail doesn’t have much shade, so you’ll want to protect yourself from overheating.

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7. Mugu Peak Trail

Location: Chumash Trailhead, Malibu, CA 90265

Difficulty: Challenging

Try this 2.9-mile loop trail near Malibu, California. Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 2 hours and 8 minutes to complete. The trail starts off with a steep climb, but there are some resting points along the way with breathtaking ocean and mountain hike views. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.

Pro-Tip: Watch your step for snakes! You’ll also need to leave pups at home as dogs aren’t allowed on this trail.

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8. Corral Canyon

Location: 25623 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Difficulty: Moderate

Escape the crowds with this moderate loop trail in Malibu. During the spring and early summer, the hillsides burst with vibrant wildflowers against a backdrop of the ocean. There is minimal shade along the way, so be sure to bring a hat and plenty of water. Dogs are also welcome here, but need to be on leash at all times.

Pro-Tip: This trail is known to be very overgrown, so wearing long pants and sturdy footwear is recommended.

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9. Bluff Cove Trail

Location: 609 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Difficulty: Easy

Bluff Cove Trail is a leisurely 1.1-mile out-and-back trail that brings you to terrific views of the Pacific Ocean and down to a rocky beach. Located in Palos Verdes, this trail is popular for sunset hikes and a side spur offers access to Flat Rock Point, a rugged point with many tide pools to explore at low tide.This oceanfront gem is perfect for a rejuvenating solo hike or a fun day out with friends.

Pro-Tip: Stay left at the fork instead of going down to Flat Rock and the trail continues along the bluffs for a bit before descending to the rocky beach below Surf View Park. You can explore the beach and tidepools here before heading back.

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10. Shipwreck Trail

Location: Paseo del Mar & Avenida Mirola, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail definitely has a reward at the end of it. There are remains of the SS Dominator at this peninsula and getting there isn’t all that bad. This is a 4.6-mile out-and-back trail hike, although the terrain is a bit uneven at times. You will have to hike down a steep incline to get to the trail, so bring good hiking shoes. You’ll also be walking along some loose rocks too. This trail is open year round and beautiful to visit. Dogs are also welcome but must be on a leash.

Pro-Tip: Parking for this hike is primarily street parking. So make sure you pay attention to the street parking signs.

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