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Bluffs Beach Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Oceanside, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.1 mi Elevation gain 216 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Beach

Views

Wild flowers

Description
Waypoints (11)
Contact
Tips

The Cristianitos Fault is a major earthquake fault line located less than one mile from the San Onofre nuclear power plant. This hike takes you on a 3 mile loop through San Onofre State Beach to the site of the fault line. Along the way, you'll see the Monterey Formation, which holds most of the oil and gas deposits known in the LA basin and off the coast, as well as the abrupt end of the San Mateo formation at the fault line.

Official San Onofre State Beach website http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=647 SoCal Hiker's Guide to Hiking the Cristianitos Loop http://socalhiker.net/2010/12/san-onofre-loop-to-cristianitos-fault/

Day use parking at San Onofre State Beach is $15 or you can use your annual day use parking pass. The beach has stretches that are completely covered with cobblestones. Shoes with good ankle support would be advisable. There isn't much shade, so bring a hat and wear sunscreen. There are restrooms and water along the bluff campgrounds, but none on the beach. Bring water. The bluffs are unstable and dangerous. Stay on marked trails.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (73)
Photos (67)
Recordings (66)
Completed (166)
C Summ
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

if you're looking for a hike this place is terrible however if you want to create a view of the ocean and sometime at the beach this will be the place to go. And apparently you cannot catch a viral infection if you're having fun at the beach. I wonder why I did not learn this in my virology class.

View C's Recording
Cary Huang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue May 26 2020
Hiking

Nice hike of about 4 miles, especially our 4yo. The stretch along the beach was tough on the ankles since it was very rocky. Also walking back along old PCH was a bit precarious - there are several blind spots created by overgrown foliage which hide speeding cars. Pay attention to the rules around white/red dot parking rules. I saw the park ranger writing a lot of tickets.

Arta Conder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Mar 17 2020
HikingFeeMuddy
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Ken Lieuwen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 09 2020
Hiking

Walked Trail 6 to the beach and then south along the beach several km. Plunked my ass in the sand and enjoyed some Vitamin D and a cool swim.

Sin Xie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 18 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
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Heather Frewin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 05 2020
Hiking

Beautiful views. Always great weather!

Mayra Carrillo Cortés
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 02 2020
FeeNo shadeRocky
Stephanie Alexandre
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 02 2019
Hiking

It was nice but no shade, no real hiking area, too crowded, but other than that the beach and sand and water were great

Jonathan Whipple
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 29 2019
HikingWashed out
View Jonathan's Recording
Jamie Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 29 2019
Hiking

We didn't take the actual trail to the beach we found another futher down the parking lot. It is a stunning place to go, the bluffs overlooking the ocean are amazing looking down toward the ocean and up from the ocean. Beautiful example of mother nature at her finest.

View Jamie's Recording
Chelsea Lovik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 17 2019
Hiking

More of a beach spot than a hike, didnt do the whole trail! The beach was beautiful so we had to stop! Trail and hill to get to it but a perfect spot to soak up some sun and get the dogs in the water! Would recommend! Need a park pass or pay for parking! Also have bathrooms and charcoal grills and tables to use! Could spend the whole day here

View Chelsea's Recording
Evan Burdick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 04 2018
Walking

Views are awesome and what’s best is there aren’t a lot of people. Watch out for the edges as some areas are steep! Perfect place to come if you’re looking for solitude or the perfect selfie.

Becky Ibarra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 30 2018
Walking

We went yesterday 5/29/18 and it wasn’t a hike. Just a walk by the beach. The view was super nice and very relaxing. We would have loved to sit down and watch the beach but a couple had their dog off the leash and the dog was barking and trying to run towards us. Not very relaxing at all. You must keep your dogs in their leash, it says on the sign. Don’t mess it up for other people. We did trail 1 and once you walk down to the beach you could really only walk left. And if you keep walking down you hit big dinosaur rocks and the water hits them. So the water ends up to your waist. Other than that it’s the perfect beach for relaxing and watching the waves. Perfect for a picnic. $15 fee not worth it if your wanting to hike. But worth it if your planning to get in the water and relax and stuff.

Holly Klesta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 16 2018
Hiking

It must have been beautiful a little while back based on the reviews, but it was hard to even give this two stars. On the trail on the bluffs you can’t see anything and it’s muddy, then you walk down to the beach on your way back on the “loop.” Not worth $15 whatsoever. You’re basically paying to walk along the beach.

Carmen Ramirez-Kinsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 28 2018

This is a beautiful hike but beware much of the original trail is washed away. Some places were dangerous. The beach is covered in rock as well so make sure to wear ankle supporting shoes.

Daniel Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Oct 10 2017

Nice hike some of the beach is covered with rocks. Recommend shoes with good ankle support. $15 dollar fee to enter park.

Armando Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 08 2017

One of my new favorite spots

Steve Skinner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Aug 23 2017
Walking

It's all about the beach. Beautiful spot! Easy hike.

Monica Freeland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 23 2017

Very beautiful. It is 15$ to get in for a day pass but I enjoyed the cliffs and the rocky Ocean. great place for photographs! Not much of a later out trail unless you break off on some of the smaller ones and link them all together. Relaxing day!

Rob Church
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 29 2017
Hiking

Not much of an actual hike, more just cliffside beach access. It's a nice secluded beach though and dogs are permitted. $15 day use fee to enter the park. Views are pretty, just not much hiking to be done.

Margarita Guerra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Feb 23 2017

trials are a little difficult to locate, but the scenery is beautiful

Shaena Polly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Oct 14 2016

The area and views are beautiful. Extremely secluded, and there are neat structures made out driftwood on the beach. The portion of the trail from Trail 1 that goes along the beach is all (well, mostly) rocks... dinosaur egg sized rocks. We tried to make it across them, then attempted to walk in the surf barefoot, to end up getting a wave up to our waist. Super amusing, and very beautiful, but we just turned back and explored the beachy part at the bottom of trail 1. Fun, but not what we expected.

Melinda Peloquin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 09 2016
Walking

had an awesome day!!!

Philip Yoho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 27 2016
Hiking

I actually hike/walked from the north end of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. There is a Vernal Pool Restoration Area there. The loop is .66 miles; however, I did a lot of side trails, circles and figure 8's to make this a 5.16 mile hike in 1hr 28min. All flat, very easy, and great views!

Crystal Braddock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 05 2016

Went to Bluffs Beach last year for the first time. Can't remember if I too trail 4 or 6 down but I loved it! Lots of rocks on the beach entering the water. Take swimming shoes!

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