Jetty for La Jenelle

Silver Strand Beach hike to La Jenelle Jetty

The La Jenelle was a 467-foot luxury cruise liner before retiring to Port Hueneme Harbor with plans to become a floating restaurant. Then a severe storm ripped her from her moorings, where she capsized and was battered beyond repair by the waves. This sad story has an interesting ending, though. The U.S. Navy dismantled the ship and incorporated a good deal of the wreckage into a breakwater at the southern end of Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard. Now, with a bit of rock scrambling, you can explore what’s left of La Jenelle’s rusty ruins, which are mostly built into the south-facing seaward portion of the breakwater. Incorporate this maritime exploration into a longer trek by walking the length of the beach, which extends for about a mile north of the jetty to the mouth of Channel Islands Harbor. Enjoy views of Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands before returning to your starting point near the breakwater. Colorful murals in the beach parking lot are worth checking out, too.

TIP: The ideal time for visiting is low tide, when more of the wreckage is exposed. Don’t go during inclement weather (rough surf makes it too dangerous to climb out onto the jetty.)

La Jenelle Beach is hemmed in by the restricted grounds of a large naval facility, so you will need to approach from the north as opposed to from the east (certain mapping apps could lead you astray). From Victoria Ave. in Oxnard, make a slight left on Roosevelt Blvd., which turns into Island View Ave. Turn right at the end of the road on Sawtelle Ave. and follow the road all the way to the small beachside parking lot. Ventura County beaches are dog-friendly (avoid taking the dog on the jetty).

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