Point Dume Natural Preserve Malibu California beach hike to Paradise Cove Pier

If you have driven through Malibu on PCH, then you have seen Point Dume, a dome-shaped promontory jutting into the Pacific at the northwest end of Santa Monica Bay. The point is surrounded by picturesque white sand beaches and sparking blue water. The headland is protected by Point Dume Natural Preserve, a California State Park. A mile of trails on Point Dume’s bluffs lead to two overlooks, one at the top of Point Dume. Additional trails access both a secluded beach and a popular beach on opposite sides of the point. Seasonally, Point Dume Natural Preserve is a great place to spot whales migrating along the coast.

For a short simple hike on Point Dume, begin from the small 2-hour parking area on the bluff behind the point. It is a third of a mile to the top of Point Dume with 100 feet of elevation change. The route up is obvious from the start, but there are a couple junctions on the way.

First you will pass a trail on the left that descends to the beach east of Point Dume, which is called Dume Cove Beach or Big Dume Beach. Dume Cove has tide pools and a long stretch of sand to stroll across. Take this side trail and the staircase down to the beach to extend your visit.

Point Dume Malibu
The top of the trail down to Dume Cove

Continuing past the first junction, the trail out on Point Dume leads to a four-way junction. The trail to the right goes to a trailhead at the northwest corner of the park, which is another place to begin the hike on Point Dume. The trail to your far left explores a level boardwalk out to a viewing platform. The other trail on the left (between the other two trails) goes to the overlook at the top of Point Dume.

Heading to the top first, you will gain 70 feet in a tenth of a mile. Reach a memorial plaque at the high point of Point Dume that describes how the point was named by a British sea captain.

Walk around the large fenced-in area on the crown of Point Dume and take in the panoramic views. Look west over the white sands of Westward Beach and Zuma Beach toward Point Mugu, and inland over the Santa Monica Mountains. To the northwest, the highest peaks in the range are in sight, the Boney Mountains, rocky pinnacles that rise above green ridges.

Point Dume
Westward Beach and Zuma Beach from Point Dume Overlook

Return to the four-way junction and head up the gradual boardwalk. The plank walkway ends after 1/8 of a mile at a viewing platform. In the spring, this is a great place to spot whales traveling along the coast, and the ocean views are enjoyable year round. Beyond the viewing deck, a sandy track circles around the west side of Point Dume.

Point Dume
The boardwalk to the viewing deck

It won’t take long to explore Point Dume Natural Preserve. In the spring time, poppies and giant coreopsis bloom along the trail adding splashes of orange and yellow to the park. Hiking off trail is prohibited and dogs are not allowed. No fee or permit is required, so get out and enjoy.

Another way to access Point Dume Natural Preserve is from Westward Beach, which borders Zuma Beach on the west side of the point. This is a popular starting point for a 4-mile round trip beach hike crossing Point Dume to explore the less-crowded waterfront to the east leading down to Paradise Cove Pier. Westward Beach has a parking fee.

Point Dume
Point Dume

To get to the trailhead: Take PCH to Malibu, driving 19 miles northwest of the end of the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica. Turn left (south) at the light on Heathercliff Road. Make the first left on Dume Drive and go one mile to Sea Lion Place. Turn right and drive to the end of the street. Make a left on Birdview Avenue, which curves to the left behind the park and becomes Cliffside Drive. Just after the curve, park in the small 2-hour parking area on the right. The trail begins from the parking area.

Trailhead address: 27807 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Trailhead coordinates: 34.004245, -118.80581 (34° 00′ 15.28″N 118° 48′ 20.91″W)

Parking Scarcity! With only 10 parking spaces on Cliffisde Drive (2 ADA), you may have trouble finding a space during busy periods. Parking is not permitted outside of these spaces along Cliffside Drive or Birdview Avenue due to street parking restrictions. (Read the signs so you don’t get a ticket.)

So where can you park?
You can also park in the large lot at the end of Westward Beach Road. Westward Beach is between Zuma Beach and Point Dume. A trail from the parking area connects up to Point Dume. The address for Westward Beach is: 7103 Westward Beach Road, Malibu, CA 90265.

Trail Map
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Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.

You may also view a regional map of surrounding Los Angeles trails and campgrounds.


Point Dume
Point Dume HikePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint DumePoint Dume

Dume Cove
Point Dume CoveDume Cove BeachDume Cove BeachPoint Dume CovePoint Dume CoveDume Cove BeachDume Cove BeachPoint Dume Cove BeachDume Cove BeachPoint DumeBig Dume BeachBig Dume BeachDume Cove PaddleboardDume Cove SandpiperDume Cove SandpiperDume Cove TidepoolsBig Dume Beach TidepoolsDume Cove TidepoolsBig Dume BeachBig Dume BeachBig Dume Beach MalibuBig Dume Beach MalibuBig Dume BeachBig Dume Beach

These photos were taken in February and March of 2012 and August of 2015. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Charmlee Wilderness Park Charmlee Wilderness Park
This 3.25-mile loop is one of several possible hikes in this bluff-top park with ocean views over Malibu.
Zuma malibu hike Zuma Canyon Trail
This 2.8-mile hike leaves a coastal Malibu neighborhood to explore rustic Zuma Canyon.
zuma ocean view trail Ocean View Trail - Canyon View Trail Loop
This 3.1-mile loop demands more effort than Zuma Canyon Trail and provides great ocean and canyon views.
Escondido Falls hike Escondido Falls
This 3.8-mile out and back hikes visits a 200-foot waterfall that is split into two tiers. The upper tier is 150 feet tall and stunning after a rainstorm.
Solstice Canyon hike Solstice Canyon
This easy and level 2.6-mile out and back hike visits the ruins of a burned down ranch and a small waterfall.
Corral Canyon malibu hike Corral Canyon
This 2.5-mile loop offers ocean and canyon views from a unspoiled section of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu.
Malibu hikes More trails in the Santa Monica Mountains
Explore other destinations in the range.
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Tagged with · California State Parks · Free Trails · Malibu · Ocean Views · Tide Pools
Distance: 1 mile · Elevation change: 100 feet

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17 Comments on Point Dume Natural Preserve in Malibu

  1. Jeanette K. wrote:

    This is one of the most beautiful places in the States! I went there back in 2009 on one of those rare crisp, clear days in the early spring. Definitely recommend it!

  2. […] is only a short period of time each year it looks like this in Point Dume, with yellow Daisies everywhere. It’s incredible beautiful, don’t you think? The Point […]

  3. […] Next we went a little farther down PCH to the incredibly gorgeous Point Dume Natural Preserve […]

  4. cat wrote:

    How do you get to the tidepools?

  5. Barbara Case wrote:

    This is my favorite hike…it’s so beautiful and we have seen whales, dolphins and porpoises from the cliffs many times.

  6. Bernard Kindilien wrote:

    I remember being there in WWII. The 543rd AA AW Bn. went there often to practice firing the Anti-aircraft 90mm, 30MM, and 50 cal. machine guns as a plane towing a target would pass across over the coast. I was Battery “E”‘s medic. They called me Doc. I’m 93 yeas old.

  7. Yes! This is such an awesome hike! Thanks for the tips! https://youtu.be/M520QxnjopY

  8. Astrid conte-Williams wrote:

    Does Point Dume to Dume Cove allow dogs?

  9. hikespeak wrote:

    No. Dogs are not allowed.

  10. Hiker wrote:

    May you get one of the 5 parking spots! Good luck!? no street parking for miles and miles.

    • Marco wrote:

      Yeah, ____ that ____. My taxpayer dollars wasted just to give the the entitled locals a private state park.

  11. […] A short hike at Point Dume […]

  12. […] Our boys are starting to join us on hikes so we have to keep them short and easy. The trail at Point Dume Natural Preserve was perfect for all of […]

  13. Patrick wrote:

    strong advise avoiding on the weekends. No parking (literally about six spaces) and the sheriff is constantly patrolling and ticketing.

  14. Captain Sachi wrote:

    Are there any restrooms in or near this location? Thanks