La Piedra State Beach Malibu

La Piedra Beach Malibu


From the issue Beach Fuzz

Sight Unseen

Some beaches see all the action, and others are pleasantly hidden from plain view—meaning you won’t have to elbow your way to a place in the sun. Find room to roam at La Piedra State Beach in Malibu. This spot is far to the west end of Malibu, so people driving from Los Angeles pass a number of other tempting beaches first. And because the beach is tucked beneath sea cliffs, it’s not visible from the road: plenty of people cruise on by and without knowing what they’re missing. Pull off of PCH into a dirt parking area on a bluff above the coast and descend the short trail to a rocky and secluded shoreline. The beach begins with patches of cobblestone that keep casual sunbathers at bay, leaving rugged, less-traveled coastline that could double as a slice of Big Sur. To the west, you can’t get anywhere unless the tide is out (at which time it’s possible to walk .25-mile to El Pescadero State Beach). But it’s much nicer to stroll east and reach softer sand on a long, narrow stretch below bluff-top residences with wooden staircases dropping to this under-the-radar haven. In the distance, Point Dume looks like a finger pointing out to sea. At low tide (check the charts), you can pass through sea caves and around an outcropping to reach El Matador State Beach, a nice place to spread a blanket for a little sunbathing. Return the way you came. Seeing is believing.

Start from the La Piedra State Beach parking area on the south side of PCH (map). There is an $8 fee to park in the lot, where there are a few picnic tables. Walk down the trail .25-mile to reach the beach. It’s about .75-mile to reach El Matador State Beach, but check the tide charts. It’s not recommended to take unwise risks. No dogs.

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