Metrolink Train Station. Take the 5 freeway south towards San Clemente. Exit at Avenida Pico in San Clemente and head towards the beach. Make a right on Pacific Coast Highway and then take your first left at the light into the Metrolink Train Station. There is ample parking at the North Trailhead. Directions to the South Trailhead at Calafia Beach. Take the 5 freeway towards San Clemente and exit at Avenida Calafia. Avenida Calafia dead ends at Califia Beach which is the Southern Trailhead for the San Clemente Beach Trail. There is an hourly cost for parking at both locations. The machines do accept credit cards, expect to spend probably about $4.00 to hike the entire length of the trail. Parking is free after 6pm.
Description of Hike: The San Clemente Beach Hiking Trail is an out and back hike that travels alongside the Pacific Ocean. The Northern portion of the San Clemente Beach Hiking Trail is open from 4am to Midnight and the Southern portion of the San Clemente Beach Hiking Trail is open from 6am to 10pm. the Pacific Ocean. The entire length of the hiking trail is 2.3 miles one way for a total hiking length of 4.6 miles. If you want to make the hike longer, you can add a trip to the end of the San Clemente Pier which adds an additional 0.6 miles to the trip for a total hike of 5.2 miles. There is minimal elevation gain to this hike. You are likely to see many other people on the hiking trail as it is well maintained by the City of San Clemente. Make sure to watch out for trains at the train crossings.
We started our hike at the North Trailhead at the Metrolink Train Station. From the North Trailhead it is roughly a mile to the San Clemente Pier. Once we reached the San Clemente Pier we walked all the way out to the end of the pier and enjoyed the views. We saw several pelicans, seagulls, and many starfish on the pier's pylons. There are several restaurants in this area as well as places that sell ice cream and other treats if you are looking to have something to eat on your hike. We continued on the trail all the way to Calafia Beach where we enjoyed shaved ice and ice cream while sitting on the sand at Calafia Beach, before we began our return trip. The San Clemente Beach Hiking Trail from the pier to Calafia Beach is a little narrower than the portion from the Metrolink Train Station to the pier.
Rating: Elevation Gain: < 50 ft. (Easy), Distance: 5.2 Miles Roundtrip (Easy - Moderate).
Time to Complete Hike: 2 - 3 hours.
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