Cave Landing and Pirate's Cove from Shell Beach

EASY 108 reviews

Cave Landing and Pirate's Cove from Shell Beach is a 2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pismo Beach, California that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

2.0 miles
252 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


nature trips

trail running





11 days ago

Pretty plantings along first part of trail/ then rocks and beach- a little elevation- nice variety, spectacular coastal views. Fun for kids.

2 months ago

fun trail to do. Parking is very tiny only like 4 spots and one handicap spot. The hike is very nice. You can see the ocean and fields. The incline is a little hard but I did it just fine it's probably about 200 yards or less. I would recommend it to active adults and kids 5+. will do again

3 months ago

Great for kids and dogs. Awesome views!

3 months ago

Park in small lot at end of Cave Landing Road. This is an easy hike which you can make as difficult as you want by going uphill from Pirates Cove. Tide was high so I did not go down onto beach. People were camping inside the cave which is not legal but they did not bother me. There was no wind so it was going to get how there in afternoon. This is a great hike to start out your day.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

5 months ago

nice walk, half of it is pathed. Dog friendly.

5 months ago

Went to visit pismo and looked up a hike to do in the morning. Beautiful views the whole time provided by the ocean, caves, and nearby million dollar houses.

10 months ago

Great hike even for my 11 year old dog and family that don’t hike on a regular basis. Absolutely gorgeous. We began around 10:00am on a Sunday which was perfect before the crowd and heat.

This will be our new regular family day hike.

10 months ago

Beautiful! Loved the cave. I wish people would respect nature and not vandalize it. There is some graffiti on the rocks and in the cave but it was still beautiful being above the ocean on cliffs looking out.

10 months ago

Easy enough for my 3 & 5 year old, but my husband and I also really enjoyed it. Can’t beat the constant view of the beautiful ocean! My boys loved searching for Pirates treasure :) Just outside the cave to the left you can go down the rocks a bit and you will see a ring in the side of the mountain. We were told this is where the Pirates used to hook their ships. That made it even more fun for my kiddos!

trail running
11 months ago

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nice hike, especially with the cool, cloudy day. Some steep areas. My kids hiked it easily, though my dog was too fat to easily get down the rocks to the beach. Great views. Lots of trash, and too many people didn't pick up after their dogs.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Pirates cove gets the kewl points but super chill walk

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Nice hike! Took my kids (5 and 11) and they were able to easily make it. We loved the cave!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Beautiful place. Some litter at a Pirates Cove and graffiti. Fantastic views and pleasant walk. Not steep.

Monday, August 07, 2017

A bit hot today and the cave was filled with broken glass. The ropes with knots helped the kids get down to the beach with was fun and an adventure for all. The smokers and nudist on the beach were a little traumatic for the kids but offered some valuable teaching moments.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quick fun trail

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Short hike with great view of beach activities. Some of the hike is paved, but most is dirt access road and finally beach access trail.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beautiful views, not too crowded when I did it a few months ago. Agree with the other reviews, parking can be sketch, litter etc. But not so much I wouldn't go again!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fun and easy hike, good for a small family adventure.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The hike was nice ... lots of poison oak and lots of litter

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

pretty good hike that's close to my house in pismo! can't beat that or the views! def plan on doing this again

Monday, February 20, 2017

Average, easy trail. Some old road asphalt and pretentious "get off my street" signs. Parking access is sketchy on Avila side, and trash is prevelant.

Monday, November 07, 2016

A great hike especially for beginners, nice views until you get to the cave (garbage and graffiti) but there's plenty of other areas to explore.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Good place to walk small dogs

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Beautiful beach. Cave had quite a lot of litter but hike was very pleasant.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Trash on trail and graffiti on and in the cave. Was beautiful at one point before the trash and graffiti.

Friday, May 06, 2016

A favorite short hike. Lovely views, nice breezes, that great cave. Along with others, I am bothered by the amount of trash I see here. I suggest that every time we hike here we pick up just one thing, and that we suggest this to other hikers. That way the angels who do major cleanups won't have to be alone with it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Beautiful hike, cave was amazing, nudist beach. Wish people would pick up their trash.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Perfect walk between Easter dinner and desert. Gorgeous view and just enough of a challenge for my first hike 2 weeks post total knee replacement. I walked the paved part, the family completed the entire trail and we all loved it ! Can't wait to go again, next time all the way...

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