Salt Creek Trail (CA)

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Salt Creek Trail is an approximately 12 ft wide multipurpose trail in both concrete and blacktop with a center stripe plus an equestrian trail in places. It has more arms than an octopus. There are two sections and several branches. This section, the seaward Salt Creek Trail - starts on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Salt Creek Beach Park, Dana Pt., CA. and climbs up a coastal canyon, working inland to end at a trail underpass by the Dog Park on The Street of the Golden Lantern in Laguna Niguel, about 5.4 miles. The bulk of the trail is in Laguna Niguel.

First it swings along the bluff below the Ritz Carlton with great ocean views, then inland along a golf course to dive under the Pacific Coast Highway and emerge on the far side. Now it starts climbing the west side of the Arroyo Salado with Salt Creek below. There are unfolding views of the ocean behind you and the canyon ahead and below. In addition to bikers, there is a good deal of foot traffic  joggers, walkers, dog walkers, pram pushers, etc. You will seldom be alone for long. Above Niguel Road it turns easterly into Chapparosa Park, then climbs along the ridge to end at the underpass on Golden Lantern.

The trail has its ups and downs, but mostly up. This is typical of trails in Laguna Niguel. Enjoy climbing; you will get it. Of course, you also have glorious downhill coasting. You will go from 69 on the picnic plaza overlooking the ocean to 349 at Chapparosa Community Park, then climb more to the eastern trail end at the Dog Park parking lot on Golden Lantern (443). In between are lots of ups and down that all add up.

Parking and Trail Access

Take the Pacific Coast Highway CA-1) to Dana Pt., CA. At the junction of PCH and Niguel Rd., turn oceanward onto Ritz Carlton Dr. and follow it to the Salt Creek Beach parking lot (fee). Address: 33333 S. Pacific Coast Hwy.


Ending at Dana Point

   January, 2015 by hcbelladona

I am a weekend bike rider and this trail has a lot of uphill riding as much as downhill. Closer to the beach you will get lots of walkers and runners so be careful on some of the turns you might take somebody out. The scenery is nice you can see the ocean more


   April, 2011 by trail53link

April 3, 2011 I begin my trek from my daughter's home near Stonehill and Blue Lantern streets in Dana Point California. I normally prefer to utilize dedicated bike paths but since Dana Point's bike lanes are so plentiful and wide I choose to bike to more

The Salt Creek Trail - go left or go right?

   March, 2010 by trailbear

The Salt Creek Trail – go left or go right? 3.21.10 GEOGRAPHY OF THE LOWER SALT CREEK TRAIL… The Salt Creek Trail is a decision tree that leaves the sea behind and climbs a canyon or two. This is not a straightforward “start here, end there” more