Dume in Bloom

Hike Point Dume for Beautiful Ocean Views and Seasonal Flowers

During wildflower season, nature puts on a spectacular show, and one the best places to see it is at Point Dume Natural Preserve in Malibu. 

On this 2-mile loop, you’ll encounter wild beaches, knockout panoramic views, and California poppies plus beach primrose in bloom. But the leading lady is the giant coreopsis, whose vibrant yellow flowers carpet the cliffside for only a few weeks each spring. 

Start your hike on the left side of the Cliffside Drive parking area until you reach an impressive staircase on your left.

Newly constructed in 2022, the 193 steps cascade down to Big Dume Beach, a secluded cove perfect for exploring tide pools along the rocky sand.

Back at the top of the stairs, continue on the path, bearing left onto the boardwalk. Stop by at the overlook to see if you can spot any gray whales during their migration (best viewed from November through April).

Resuming the loop will take you on top of a rocky headland that juts out over the ocean in dramatic fashion. It’s no surprise this scenery inspired one of the most memorable moments in film: Follow the trail down to Westward Beach below to see the spot where the wrecked Statue of Liberty emerged from the sand at the end of Planet of the Apes.

Retrace your steps back to the loop where eventually you’ll pick up the high trail that you skipped when you did the boardwalk. This final stretch delivers seemingly endless fields of giant coreopsis, along with sweeping views of Santa Monica Bay and the Malibu coastline—an ending that deserves a standing ovation.

From Santa Monica, take the Pacific Coast Hwy. north for 19 miles, and make a left onto Zumirez Dr. (which turns into Wildlife Rd). Turn right onto Fernhill Dr., and then another right onto Cliffside Dr. Drive about a half mile to find limited street parking on your left. If full, continue on Cliffside Dr. to Birdview Ave. until you reach Westward Beach Rd. Additional street parking is available on Westward Beach Rd. or find a paid parking lot on the left which offers easy access to Westward Beach and the trail. No dogs.

Story and photos by Yvonne Paquini, @yvonne_pasquini

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