February 19, 2023

Malibu Winter Low Tide Day Hike – Free

Super Low Tide -1.80 feet at 3:14 PM; Sunset 5:43

Point Dume State Beach to Malibu Lagoon
8.5 mile hike on the California Coastal Trail

Click here to register

Please register so we know how many day hikers to expect.

Park at Malibu Lagoon State Beach Parking Lot on the west side fo PCH opposite Cross Creek Road. (22300 PCH) – this is where the hike will end.

Please consider PLICKING (hiking while picking up trash) and bringing a bag to remove the marine debris along the hike; after the winter storms we may find lots of marine debris. Leave No Trace & Protect Your Happy Place!

  • 12:30 PM Hikers meet at Point Dume Trailhead, south end of Westward Beach Road south of Zuma Beach a short distance past the Sunset Restaurant. We will start our hike.
  • Hike description: A guided walk on the CCT during the only tides low enough to allow passage on the beach through to the Malibu Lagoon. A rare opportunity to walk the sand and cross the around the headlands exposed by this tide. The walk will take us up historic Point Dume and down to the beach with a brief stop at Paradise Cove. Pack snacks and plenty of water. Food and drink may be available at the restaurant. We’ll continue the walk past the hidden Malibu mansions, tide pools and beaches. . Big Dume Beach, Little Dume Beach, Paradise Cove, Escondido Beach, Malibu Cove Colony, Latigo Beach, Dan Blocker Beach, Puerco Beach, Corall Beach, Amarillo Beach and Malibu Beach will all be hiked through until reaching Malibu Lagoon.
  • The following will be helpful: Day pack, hiking poles, sunscreen and sun hat, hiking sandals or sturdy shoes – there will be some shallow ocean and creek walking, snacks and plenty of water, a pair of dry shoes and socks for the drive back home. Check the weather and dress appropriately – windbreaker and layers. Cost- This is a free hike. We urge y’all to become members of Coastwalk California, a nonprofit dedicated to coastal access and the California Coastal Trail. Parking fees, if any, will be the drivers’ responsibility.


From Messenger Mountain News:

Winter Low Tides Reveal Hidden World at Local Beaches

Every winter, the Sun, Moon and Earth align to create extreme low and high tides. While “king tides” can flood beaches and swamp roads and beachside buildings, the corresponding low tides reveal a usually unseen world of tide pools and impossibly wide expanses of sand.

A low tide winter beach walk offers empty beaches, and the potential to see a vivid winter sunset and watch for migrating gray whales. There’s even a good chance of catching the elusive sunset “green flash,” on a winter evening.

Winter low tides are a birdwatcher’s paradise, as shorebirds take advantage of an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet revealed by the retreating sea. Often, the birds are a walker’s only company. For solitude seekers, the winter beach is a terrestrial paradise.

Although humans have been able to predict and chart tides for hundreds and even thousands of years, the science of tides is complex. Earth and the Moon have elliptical orbits, and the tidal variation in Earth’s oceans are created by the changes in gravitational pull between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

Spring tides occur at every full and new moon— spring referring not to the season, but to how the water springs onto the land.

The highest spring tides occur during perigee, when the Moon is closest to the Earth. Perigean spring tides, also called “king tides,” are the biggest tides of the year. They occur when the gravitational pull between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon is strongest, usually at Midwinter, when the Earth is closest to the sun—perihelion, and at midsummer, when it is at the furthest point in its elliptical orbit—aphelion.

In the U.S., tides are measured in feet, and the difference between a perigean spring tide and an ordinary spring tide is only a few inches, but it’s enough to make a big difference.

February 17- 19, one of two king tides in 2023, brings spectacularly low tides all three day with a  -1.80 low tide at 3:14 p.m. on Sunday, February 19th.

Low tides are a delight for beachcombers, but it’s important to remember that the other side of the minus tide can be an extreme high tide. That’s not a problem during calm weather, but when there is big surf it can take just minutes for a beach to disappear once the tide has turned.

Our walk to Malibu Lagoon offers a little of everything: expansive tide pools, vast sand spits, and an opportunity to walk along the beach behind the Malibu Colony, with views of Point Dume. This beach vanishes almost entirely during high tide.

Thanks to the California Coastal Act, all beaches below the mean high tide line are public beaches, provided one keeps to the wet sand. Winter low tides are an opportunity to explore one of California’s greatest treasures.


About Our Day Hikes

Day hikes along the route of the California Coastal Trail are a popular part of Coastwalk California’s mission.  Day hikes offer an enjoyable and educational way to learn about segments of the Coastal Trail. Led by experienced local volunteers and Coastwalk members, the hikes vary from county to county and season to season, and are offered on an irregular basis as volunteers come forth to lead them.

As much as possible Coastwalk California partners with other organizations and associations located along the 15 coastal counties to offer day hikes, since local knowledge makes outings special.  Coastwalk is also interested in telling its readers, members and friends about coastal zone day hikes and volunteer service days  offered by our trail partners and other coastal organizations, to encourage wider participation.