Shipwreck Trail

HARD 248 reviews

Shipwreck Trail is a 5.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Palos Verdes Peninsula, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.9 miles
534 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers



washed out

This is a rocky hike along the beach to a shipwreck site. Although the hike is near the road, it has great views. Wear sturdy shoes. Great ocean views, lovely bays, exciting shipwreck to explore, rocky shoreline.

1 day ago

Great, beautiful challenging hike. My family are all avid hikers and this one was a bit difficult because of the rocks. I have weak ankles and even with wearing hiking boots with great support, two days after the hike it feels like my ankle has a mild sprain. However, DO NOT let that keep you from going on this hike! I loved it so much! We went down the area with the ropes and followed the shore all the way past the shipwreck and then up the steep hill back to the road. We didn’t stop at all because we were concerned about high tide closing us in, but we were still out there at high tide. The path was pretty narrow in some spots, but didn’t keep us from going through. We loved all the little crabs in between the rocks as we went! The only thing that I wasn’t too fond of was the seaweed. It was very slippery! We took a 8 and 10 year old. The 8 year old had a hard time by the end, but he doesn’t go on as many hikes as my son (the 10 year old). If you just want to see the shipwreck, I recommended going backward on the trail from this map and then going back. It’s much shorter and easier for those who don’t want to deal as much with the rocks. We started about 8 am and finished about 12 pm. We didn’t see any other hikers the whole time, just every once in a while we would see people fishing.

6 days ago

The views were amazing, but I'm not really sure the hike should be rated at "hard". There is minimal ascending or descending. Great for a few hours and head past the shipwreck for more amazing views.

9 days ago

An amazingly beautiful hike!!! Took two groups there and it was really great fun! We used the rope to get down the cliff which was a great call and hiking along the water is fun and challenging at the same time. We actually climbed up the cliff about a half a mile after the shipwreck and then it’s about an 8 minute drive back to the car! I highly recommend this hike!!!

1 month ago

This map leads you to a trailhead that is about 3+ miles from the shipwreck. I may have missed the actual trailhead because I just went straight down to the beach and started scrambling over rocks. It was a tough walk doing the full 3 miles. Definitely wear good hiking boots with ankle support and check for low tide. I wouldn't bring a dog. All the rocks would have to be rough on their paws. When leaving I doubled-back for about a mile and took a trail up to the main road.You could start nearer these entrance trails to reduce your rock hiking. There are a few off of Palos Verdes Drive.

1 month ago

Not worth it

1 month ago

Very cool. Needs sturdy shoes with good wet-grip. Check the high-tide time or you will be soaked up to your waist when passing some locations.

2 months ago

Here’s the low down....yes, the trail is all rocks, but check when low tide is and go then. The rocks aren’t tough to get through at all and the hike is AWESOME! You can bring your dog and he doesn’t have to be on a leash. Put “Shipwreck Trail” in Apple Maps and it takes you to the entrance where you can walk down the pipeline (it’s a barely visible entrance to the right of a house). Once you pass the shipwreck, keep walking and exploring until you find the exit trail and walk back to your car via the road.

I explored a little further down the beach past the exit and found some really cool spots to hang and watch the ocean. Check it won’t regret it at all!

2 months ago

This was a fun quick hike. great for dogs and young kids.

4 months ago

I accidentally went off down a different path but eventually got to the shipwreck area. When the paved road starts to curve left at the top of the hill there’s a path I followed that had a rope to help you get down to the beach. This was an added bonus of adventure and had great views! At the beach there is only one way to follow. It takes you left and you get to do some climbing if you want. The views are amazing and yes there are rocks to walk on, but it’s not that bad. I almost didn’t do this hike because of all the reviews about the rocks being terrible but there’s enough of a path where everyone has walked that it’s just fine. I actually ran most of the way back from the shipwreck just for a bonus workout and navigating the rocks was completely manageable. Definitely worth the view!!!

5 months ago

love this hike, lots of rock jumping, wear good grip water shoes, and pay attention to the tide if you go too late the tide will creep up and you'll be swimming instead of hiking

6 months ago


7 months ago

I liked it a lot. it was quite challenging walking on individual rocks but it is worth saying you did it in the long run. There are a bunch of little tiny sandbugs that won't harm you. On the way back we cheated and took the pipe way back to the beginning of the trail so we didn't have to walk on all those rocks.

7 months ago

this place was a trek to get to across 6-12 in rocks and the tide , but boy was it cool once we got to the shipwreck . I initially followed a cement drainage area down to the beach and turned left , then just walked shoreline to shipwreck.

7 months ago

love this trail it is difficult because your jumping on rocks the whole time, so you have to have good water grip shoes and do it in the mornings because after 2 or 3 the tide starts going up and the trail get covered

8 months ago

Awesome! Wear appropriate footwear. Beautiful

8 months ago

Beautiful and serene. Definitely worth the hike!

9 months ago

Awesome hike. The 6 mile hike they show on here starts from a parking lot and you walk up a neighborhood street. I wouldn't say this trail is hard but you are walking on rocks 95% of the time.

9 months ago

Had to cut the hike short because the rocks along the shore had so much washed up seaweed and, consequently, flies/ insects! Too many to walk through. Nice while it lasted :( also, the app makes you begin at the Malaga Cove school so you'll walk up a residential area but you'll find the trail entrance soon enough.

10 months ago

Not very much hiking but has great ocean views. I was looking for a bit more of an actual hike and not half of it walking up paved street.

10 months ago

The directions take you to a nearby free parking lot. From here it'll be a 1.5 mile walk on the street to the trailhead. There's plenty of street parking near the trail as well, but I wanted the mileage so I didn't mind the extra legwork.

I've read warnings about how miserable the hike is base on the rocky shoreline, but I didn't think it was too bad. It is worth the view to jumble through all the rocks. Careful footing is needed especially as you draw closer to the wreckage. Algae and beached kelp make the best places to stand close to the ship slippery.

Come earlier to hike, I suspect the heat of mid day amplify the nauseating aroma of rotting seaweed and hobo piss.

Take the time to check out the interesting history of the SS Dominator. It's been there for over 50 years!

11 months ago

Beautiful n helluva hike on the rocks.... gotta get it done before tide comes in.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Monday, July 24, 2017

This hike is not very difficult. Most of the way you are just walking on flat ground. The trail is just covered in rocks which makes it harder to walk. Not as fun as a regular hike to me

Monday, July 10, 2017

The directions to this place is so confusing. We followed a yelp review which stated to park on 600 paseo del mar which left us about 2.5-3 miles from the shipwreck. I wish we would of known that there was a easier way to it. We hiked about 2 mikes on unstable rocks under hot and humid weather. But on our way to the shipwreck we found the "drain pipe" everyone mentions and realized we can go up that instead of going back the way we came. Coming from the drain pipe, it's about 1 mile to the shipwreck and back.
Probably not my most favorite hike because of the rocky road but the views were amazing.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The map shows the start of this "trail" as the public parking right next to school. The trail actually starts about 10 minutes down the road.

This is not a safe hike on an established trail. It is meandering over miles of beach rocks and boulders as well as wading through swarms of bugs and flies.

There are great scenic views throughout, but probably not worth the risk of a sprained ankle or worse that is a constant threat through out this route.

Instead of risking the injury returning back the same way, we decided to go past the shipwreck and followed a trail that led to the road which we took back.

Good scenic route, would not recommend to faint of heart as the loose and slippery rocks pose a moderate threat.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Beware: the directions do NOT take you to the trailhead. It's literally 2-ish miles down the road.
That being said it's crazy steep and not for the faint of heart. Make sure the tide is out or you might be in for an unexpected surprise! Gorgeous, sweeping views!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

It was a lot harder than I was expecting... rocks everywhere, and the tide coming in quickly makes it kinda terrifying! Dead seal washed ashore, but worth trying

Monday, May 15, 2017

Walking on rocks for hours was miserable. This wasn't a hike so much as an attempt not to sprain my ankle.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The shipwreck is cool, but the route here is totally off and it really isn't a hike at all. It's basically walking flat on rocks for miles. We drove a little further up and went down the real start of trail and rather than trek back along the rocks we took another dirt trail close to the ship back up (which was very sketchy and dry) then we ran the trail that goes along the road and on the road. It was about 7 miles RT. I'd recommend just driving all the way down to that little trail down and it's a short little trek on the rocks

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