Distance
19.24 km
Ascent
63 m
Descent
63 m
Peak
12 m
Difficulty
Beginner
Duration
1-2 hrs
Dana Point to San Clemente Loop Ride

Overview

This bike ride launches from Salt Creek Beach parking lot. This flat ride heads south to San Clemente, traveling most of its length within sight of the ocean. Palm trees, sand and waves; this is a ride through paradise.

The first length of this route travels along Pacific Coast Highway and while traffic can be heavy through here, the bike lanes are nearly as wide as the car lanes. It does, however, narrow and get much busier as the route enters historic Dana Point. On-street parking and numerous exits/entrances to shopping centers make this section frenetic. Stay alert.

At 1.66 miles, the Ride Log indicates a right on Golden Lantern. The road here does continue straight and you will find many other bicycles continue on here. This is not recommended as the road changes to three lanes, the on-street bike lanes disappear and traffic is extraordinarily heavy. Instead, follow the recommended path and travel through safer and more pleasant Doheny State Park before rejoining Coast Highway beyond.

At 3.74 miles, the route returns to Coast Highway along a protected on-street bike lane. To get in the lane you must cross train tracks and an access road. This area can be confusing so it is especially important to follow all signs and signals and stay alert. The turnaround is at San Clemente Metrolink station. Enjoy the outdoor seating at Kaylani Coffee as you sip lattes and look out over the tracks, expensive beach homes, and the Pacific Ocean.

At the end of the parking lot are the beach entrance and the San Clemente Pedestrian Beach Trail, a hard-packed gravel path that travels to the pier 1.1 miles away or to San Clemente State Beach, 2.6 miles away. Although bicycling is permitted, this gravel path is usually so crowded that it is best reserved for pedestrians. The Metrolink continues south through San Onofre State Beach all the way to Camp Pendleton Marine Corp Base. For those heading south, much like in Dana Point, people do ride Coast Highway which turns into El Camino Real. However, the road is so narrow and impacted with traffic, it is not considered safe for recreational cycling. Instead follow the official bike route as indicated by signs.

Access

By bus, OCTA routes 1 and 85 make stops at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Niguel, near the ride’s start. By train, the ride turns around at the San Clemente Metrolink station. By car, take exit 79, Pacific Coast Highway, off of Interstate 5 and head northbound. After 3.5 miles turn left onto Ritz Carlton Drive then take the first right into the parking lot.

Food and drink

This ride passes through historic Dana Point with dozens of dining opportunities. At the turnaround point, Kaylani Coffee offers a limited menu and a spectacular view.

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Sightseeing
Commuter
Rail Trail
Gravel
Various
EPIC Ride
Fitness Level:
Low
Medium
High
Ultra Fit
Various
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Double Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Off-Road
Gravel Road
Mobile Coverage:
Excellent
Good
Limited
Nil
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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