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San Clemente Beach Trail and North Beach Playground: It Doesn’t Get Better Than This

San Clemente Beach Trail and North Beach Playground: It Doesn’t Get Better Than This

The San Clemente Beach Trail starting at North Beach meets all the requirements of reader requests!

It’s so much fun for me to have all of you help me build the blog with info you actually WANT!

Every time I go to North Beach, I have the it-just-doesn’t-get-better-than-this feeling (except when it’s crowded). 

Although this post should fit all the requests from readers, I added more ideas below:

San Clemente Beach Trail

The San Clemente Beach Trail runs from North Beach down to Calafia Beach Park. You can park at 1) North Beach, 2) by the San Clemente Pier, or 3) down at Calafia Beach Park — or really anywhere in between.

With the kids, I like to go from North Beach because there are swings, a slide, and restrooms. It gets the wiggles out before we go and gives them a reward when we’re done.

The walk is breathtaking! Beyond beautiful views of the ocean, surfers, and sometimes dolphins in the waves.  Keep your eyes out for sparrows, hummingbirds, finches, squirrels and lizards.

The train tracks go right by the path and it’s fun to see Amtrak and Metrolink blasting by.

You can walk to Linda Lane Park from here (just cut up one of the paths).

You can walk to a family-friendly restaurant on Del Mar (the main street to the pier in San Clemente).

Use the North Beach Trail to explore the San Clemente Pier.

From the North Beach parking lot, you can access the nearby Sea Summit Trail and Pico Park.

Directions to the San Clemente Beach Trail (North Beach Trail Head): Take the Avenida Pico exit off Interstate 5. Turn towards the beach. Go across Pacific Coast Highway and take your first right onto Calle Deshecha past Ole Hanson Beach Club. The San Clemente Metrolink and beach parking lot is ahead of you on the left. Turn into the lot and find the BEACH PARKING right below the Beach Club.  You’ll need to pay at the machines. MAP TO NORTH BEACH PLAYGROUND AND PARKING FOR SAN CLEMENTE BEACH TRAIL

Be Aware:

  • You must pay for parking at the pay stations. Make note of your spot # and enter it into the yellow machine. The lot by the pier has the same system. Calafia has meters and your State Park parking pass works there, too. Click here for more info on parking in San Clemente.
  • Just be cautious of the train tracks with little ones. There are definitely trains and they come by often! Only cross at marked crossings.
  • Use the restrooms at North Beach, near the pier, T-Street or Califia. No restrooms in between.
  • Bring water and/or snacks.
  • Remember, the beach can be breezy or foggy even when it’s hot inland. Dress in layers or bring jackets for the kids.
  • There are three fire pits (one on the north side of the restrooms and two on the south) and picnic tables.
  • Dogs allowed on leash on the trail. Dogs not allowed on the beach.

Jennifer asked for: “Good beaches and fun stuff this weekend.”

Brienna wants: “Paved walking trails in South OC for walks that are away from traffic.

Chris put in a vote for: “Dog friendly hiking trails and beaches.

More Links:

Originally posted in May 2010.


Tuesday 30th of October 2012

Some parts of the trail are very narrow. There are so many double wide strollers and parents with entitled attitudes who do not care to share the trail with others!!!

A Banner

Tuesday 15th of May 2012

How long is the trail? Will a regular stroller roll smoothly on the trail surface? Thanks!


Thursday 29th of September 2011

Thanks for the great info! I am wondering if there are baby swings. I have a 9 mo. old who loves to swing, and this sounds like a great place to try.


Saturday 29th of May 2010

Holy cow! How have I not been here yet! I can't wait to do this hike and play at this park!!!! Thanks Michelle!

Jerry Emory

Saturday 29th of May 2010

Hey Michele, thanks for the shout out about our Stand Up For State Parks Weekend! Maybe some folks can share their images with you too!

Comments are closed.