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Doheny State Beach

A 62-acre park popular for surfing, sunbathing, surf fishing and picnicking. This guide takes your from end to end.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.9 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Doheny State Beach is a perfect place for a beach walk. There are towering palms, sailboats from nearby Dana Point Harbor, surfers, a ... more »

Tips:  You can do this walk anyway you prefer. It works as a leisurely walk in flip-flops or sandals, or you can slip on your running shoes... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Doheny Panorama

There are two day use parking areas. The north area is close to the popular surfing beach and has expansive grassy areas and shade.

2. Heading toward the beach

Take this paved trail towards the beach.

3. Kiosk

This information kiosk will give you some of the history of Doheny Beach.

4. Surfing

This area is a popular spot for surfing.

5. Looking south

6. Jetty at the Creek Outlet

The San Juan Creek has an outlet here. In the the dry months of summer, this often terminates at a freshwater lagoon. It only reaches the ocean after rain.

Turn left here, and rejoin the paved trail on the backside of the Main Lifeguard building.

7. Main Lifeguard Station

8. Take this Path

There are two paved paths that parallel the creek. Take the one furthest away, to the left of the fenceline.

9. Turn Right

10. Cross the creek on this bridge

Follow the sidewalk across this bridge over the San Juan Creek to reach the Doheny Beach campground and south day use areas.

11. Turn right at the arch

Take the first right and follow the road to the Doheny campground area. Note that there is no day use parking within the campground, but you can walk through here to the beach.

12. Into the campground

Turn right at this stop sign and head straight through the campground to the beach.

13. Head south on the beach

Along the beach you will often see many birds, surf fisherman, rocks, sea shells and seaweed. Keep your eyes open for surprises!

14. Pedestrian Crossing

You can park on the street for free (if you can find a spot) and walk over this pedestrian bridge to enter the park.

15. Southern boundary

This marks the southern boundary of Doheny State Beach. You can continue south into Capo Beach, or even as far as San Clemente if you choose.

For this hike, this is our turn around point. Retrace your steps or follow the paved road back to the north day use area.