…TO THE DANA POINT HEADLANDS CONSERVATION AREA

OK. Finally Part Two.

Sorry for the delay. But to make up for it, I have some fun things in the works regarding Ole Goes…

…but enough of that for now.

 

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The steps down to the Strand Revetment Trail and Salt Creek Beach. There is also a funicular, although the hours seem to be intermittent.

So these are the stairs leading down to Salt Creek Beach from my post on April 26th. I had gone for a sunset walk with a friend and her daughter on Earth Day, but because of the lack of light, didn’t have time to fully explore. I was so excited about this new find, I went back the next day, which just happened to be a beautiful, sun-drenched California day.

I started out just as we had the evening before, descending the stairs to walk along the Strand Revetment Trail along the Pacific coast. It’s paved, and not even half a mile, but it’s still pretty gorgeous, and it wasn’t packed with people.

At the end you hit some restrooms, outdoor showers and a drinking fountain. From here you began your climb up through the South Strand Conservation Park to the headlands. The climb was also paved, with steps first and then a series of inclined switchbacks that definitely got the sweat rolling.

At the top take a right at the road, passing a few (rentable!) homes until the road ends and the Dana Point Preserve begins. Covering 29.4 acres, the habitat is home to a mile long trail, numerous viewpoints, and two animal species that are on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Threatened and Endangered Species List (the Pacific Pocket Mouse and the Coastal California Gnatcatcher), so keep your eyes peeled!

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One of the many maps, showing the trails, as well as other educational information.

There are maps all along the way, so it’s pretty difficult to get lost…

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A look back at Salt Creek Beach from the Dana Point Headlands.

…except for in these insane coastal views! Had I the time, I would’ve stayed and sat for awhile, looking for migrating whales, as this is an excellent vantage point. I did see a couple park rangers telling people about the area and helping them look for whales (we did see sea lions though).

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It seems small, but the people along the trail still look like ants!

It was nice to get out of the housing, even if for just a bit. Once you round the headlands, you’ll come up on the Nature Interpretive Center, which looked like a lot of fun for kids…I mean, even the nerdy, zoological kid inside of me got a fix. Lots of things to touch and lots of information directly related to the headlands. They even see bobcats on occasion!

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Nerdy zoo boy totally stoked on these skulls!

From here you meander back into town, taking in views of Dana Point Harbor as you visit the Harbor Point Conservation Park and follow the Street of the Green Lantern, which despite what it sounds like, is not the next installment of the Indiana Jones franchise.

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Dana Point Harbor, another place to enjoy some water activities if time allows.

Once you get to PCH, take a left, cross a driveway  and take another left onto the aptly named if not overly-Euro sounding ‘Passage des Palmiers’, which will take you back to the parking lot at Strand Vista park.

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So Euro, so…
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The mosaic on the sidewalk that mimics the sand and the depths of the ocean.

With this extention, it created a rather enjoyable, at times invigorating, urban hike. Possibilites of wildlife viewing abound, as well as a little education, and I’m a happy hiker. With four restrooms along the way, mostly in the first 2/3rds of the hike, free parking, beach access and a variety of landscapes, this definitely makes for a fun experience for all.

 

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THANKS FOR FOLLOWING AND SEE YOU ON MY NEXT ADVENTURE!

 

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