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

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Cañada Collage

    This 4.3-mile loop through Cañada Del Oro Open Space Preserve showcases all the highlights of the season, thrumming with wildlife and wildflowers.

    View
  2. The Beauty of Bainbridge Island

    You know a place is special when locals head to it for their in-state vacations. Follow the lead of Seattleites and venture to beautiful Bainbridge Island in the heart of Puget Sound on the Kitsap Peninsula. Hike the Grand Forest here, meet Pia the Peacekeeper, and enjoy tasty food and drinks.

    View
  3. Little Norway

    There aren’t many small towns in America that look and feel like Europe, but Washington State sure seems to have a few! Lesser known among them is Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula. Dubbed “Little Norway,” this hamlet on the waterfront of Liberty Bay is charmed with Scandinavian influence.  

    View
  4. old church on Monterey Path of History

    Path of History Walk (+ Food Bonuses)

    Monterey’s 2-mile yellow tiled, multilingual Path of History is a do-it-yourself stroll among some of the area’s most interesting, beautiful, and culturally significant sites, including through the Old Town, past Mexican-era adobes, and to the beautiful Royal Presidio Chapel.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    A Very Bavarian Spring

    Ready to change up your spring scenery? Pack your bags for this alpine adventure in Washington State’s Cascade Mountains. The Bavarian-style hamlet of Leavenworth could be a stand-in for a mountain village in Europe.

    View
  2. Be Dune-spired!

    There’s only one urban park on the planet that helped inspire a major theme in Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi book, Dune. Herbert was born and raised in Tacoma, and Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park is named in honor of his famous novel—a tribute to one of the book’s main ideas ...

    View
  3. Go Big in Bremerton

    Make your way to the largest city on the Kitsap Peninsula, Bremerton. Best known for its naval and maritime heritage, there’s also plenty of outdoors to explore, including a hidden treasure within the Puget Sound Basin: the Keta Legacy Foundation Rhododendron Preserve.

    View
  4. Dume in Bloom

    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. 

    View