The San Clemente Beach Coastal Trail is a 2.3 mile long trail with access to the uninterrupted sandy shoreline of San Clemente in Orange County. This wide dirt path is popular with cyclists, walkers, and runners. Beach goers can park at any of the beaches along the route to access the beaches (see the map above and read the individual beach pages for directions). However, for biking it is best to start at either end to avoid carrying a bike down a steep set of stairs.
The northern trailhead of the San Clemente Coastal Trail is at North Beach where you’ll find a popular beach with restrooms and a beachside cafe.
The southern trailhead is at Calafia Beach which also has a cafe and fine facilities.
The midpoint of the trail is at San Clemente Pier Beach where tourists abound. This is a good place to start if you don’t intend to travel the entire trail.
PARKING: There is a fee to park at the endpoints and near the San Clemente Pier. The neighborhood beach access points have free street parking, but it’s usually high on the bluff above the trail and beach. If you are not biking, any of these beach accesses are a good option.
HOURS: Most of the trail is open from 4 in the morning to midnight every day. The exception is the southern segment from the south T-Street restrooms to Calafia Beach where the hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
DOGS: They are allowed on the trail if they are kept on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Because there are bikers on the trail it is important to keep your dog close-by.
NEARBY AMENITIES: The “Pier Bowl” area near the pier is always a highlight on a visit to San Clemente. There are several hotels near the beach in San Clemente if you are not a local area resident. The Fisherman’s Restaurant on the pier is highly recommended but there are many other nearby restaurants in San Clemente. For shopping, one of the best options is Outlets at San Clemente, an outdoor mall with nearly 50 different outlet stores.
BIKE RENTALS: Bikes can be rented at Bicycles San Clemente near North Beach.
CAUTION: Trains go whizzing by on the railroad tracks between the San Clemente Coastal Trail and the beach. Use the tunnels under the tracks (where they are provided) to access the beaches. Stay out of the train right-of-way as it is illegal and citations are given for those who trespass.