This hike offers a fabulous walk for folks who can comfortably walk 8 to 9 miles and climb 500 ft. It’s very much like a post-Santiago hike to Finisterre. We expect walking speeds to vary somewhat, perhaps allowing us to naturally divide our group into two at the first break.
We start from the parking lot in front of The Brig Restaurant in the Dana Point Harbor (directions below). Beginning at an elevation of 32 ft., we will immediately climb the stairs of Heritage Park to Old Golden Lantern Street. Then we will head north on Golden Lantern St. steadily climbing to 380 ft for the first 2.1 mi (or about one hour). We arrive at Starbucks on the corner of Golden Lantern St and Camino del Avion where we planned our first break. Although the worst climb is over, if you’ve discovered at this point that this walk is NOT for you, here’s an easy spot to turn around and abort the hike—no turns, just head straight back down to the Dana Point Harbor. Of course, we’ll miss you and hope to see you at the next hike.
After the break, we head west for a little over a mile on Camino del Avion and we turn off onto Salt Creek Trail, a well-trafficked and paved trail running southerly along the Monarch Beach Resort and Golf Course. We then continue on, passing under PCH and coming out at the lower end of the Monarch Beach Golf Links. We will follow the beach path along Salt Creek Beach south all the way to the end of Strands Beach.
At the end of Strands Beach, we will climb the southernmost stairway up to Dana Strand Road that ends at the entry to the sandy Dana Point Headlands Trail. This trail meanders through a conservation area that ends at the Nature Interpretive Center. Here at the 7-mile mark is a natural resting spot before continuing on the cliffs that overlook the bustling Dana Point Harbor below, before descending at Heritage Park. We end where we started at about noon.
Please be sure to have your cell phone with you with my cell #, in case you need to get hold of me.
Sue Skelly (949) 637-8036
Maria Mugica (949) 501-6880
Please RSVP by sending an email to OrangeCounty@americanpilgrims.org.