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. Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.

  2. Wapama Wows

    Hetch Hetchy can be overlooked in Yosemite National Park because of its more remote location and limited facilities. But this is where you’ll also find one of the best day hikes in the park: Wapama Falls.

  3. Sheep Tight!

    You’re not going to have to count sheep to get a good night’s sleep at Sheep Dung’s beautiful property in Anderson Valley near Boonville. Four modern cottages—tucked far apart from each other among 500 acres of rolling hills—are designed for blissful solitude. And it’s dog-friendly!

  4. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. All the Wright Stuff

    Avoiding drama? That’s a good thing. Unless you’re talking about campsites. In that case, the more dramatic the better! And Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast is quite the drama queen—27 campsites sitting smack dab in the middle of the wild and raging Sonoma Coast State Beach.

  2. kirk creek campground big sur

    Sur Bet!

    You can spend $1,000 a night for an ocean-view room in Big Sur. Or you can spend $45 and wake up to the sound of crashing waves and incredible views of Big Sur’s coastline when staying at Kirk Creek Campground.

  3. Secret Redwoods + Camping by the River

    Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing camping!

  4. Three Falling

    Three waterfalls, and fewer people. McCloud Falls might be the best waterfall hike in Northern California. There are bigger waterfalls in the state, but it’s the whole package that makes this 4-mile (round-trip) hike truly memorable.