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Pets allowed
No
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Although most of the coast in Southern California is developed, there are still some coastal bluffs open for exploration. Dana Point Headlands is one such area. Just up the hill from Dana Point Cove, a series of conservation parks and public open space areas are linked by a 3-mile trail network.

The least developed section of the headlands is the Center for Natural Lands Management's Dana Point Preserve, which can be hiked using a family-friendly trail starting from the Nature Interpretive Center. The center (open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Mondays) is a great orientation point, offering information about the native flora and fauna. Of particular note is the endangered Pacific pocket mouse. Only about 500 of these mice remain in the wild as of 2014, and it’s on the Federal Endangered Species list. Due to the sensitive ecological habitat, no dogs are allowed in the preserve.

In addition to the Pacific pocket mouse, there are over 150 species of native coastal plants and animals. You’re bound to hear the birdsong of the Coastal California gnatcatcher as it flits through coastal bluff and sage scrubs, maritime succulent scrubs, native grasses, and mixed chaparral.

Expansive ocean views complement the flora and fauna, making a visit here worthwhile no matter the reason.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great views. Birdwatching. Family friendly.

Cons

None.

Address

Scenic Dr
34558
Dana Point, CA 92629
United States

Features

Geologically significant
Bird watching
Wildlife

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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