Dana Point Loop

ORANGE COUNTY, SIGHTSEEING RIDE, DANA POINT LOOP The ride starts at the southern end of Doheny State Beach before traveling along Dana Point Harbor Drive and from there climbing through historic Dana Point and the hills that loom above. Expect an especially challenging ascent along Camino Del Avion before the well-earned downhill along Golden Lantern. There are so many interesting sights to experience, you are likely going to need to ride both these routes multiple times to take it all in. Doheny State Beach is distractingly beautiful. You will be tempted by this paradise to abandon your bike, throw down a blanket on the white sands and watch as blue-green waves crash on the beach. Camping is possible here but you will need to reserve a spot six months in advance. Near the main lifeguard tower surfboards and bodyboards are available for rent. The first significant climb will be up Golden Lantern to historic Dana Point, also known as Lantern Village. Hundreds of years ago colored lanterns were used on each street to advertise wares to the arriving ships and now account for the unusual street names. This charming area is very bike friendly and begs to be explored. Here you will find spas and salons, upscale clothing boutiques set beside raucous surf shops. A huge collection of eateries, from the casual to upscale, are crammed into these few blocks. The route leaves this historic center by way of Pacific Coast Highway and the traffic through this stretch is without a doubt the busiest part of the ride. From this point on there are no flat parts of the ride. At 3.63 miles the route turns right onto Niguel Road and this is the beginning of long, steady climbing as you ride past posh resorts and expensive homes. The steepest, most challenging part of the route arrives along Camino Del Avion as it approaches Golden Lantern. At the top of the ascent, on either side of the road, are two shopping centers with generic dining options. Take a break, grab a bite or drink before heading down the well-deserved descent all the way to sea level. Exhilarating! FOOD AND DRINK In historic Dana Point try Gen Kai Japanese or nearby Aurora’s Taqueria both located on Pacific Coast Highway near the intersection with El Encanto Avenue. On Del Prado Avenue, check out popular Bonjour Café. ACCESS How to Get There By bus, OCTA buses 85, 90 and 187 all make stops at the intersection of Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive which is 1.7 miles into the ride. By car, take exit 79, Pacific Highway, off of Interstate 5 and head northbound. After 0.7 miles take the Doheny Park Road exit towards Coast Highway South, then turn left onto Doheny Park Road and continue onto Coast Highway. Turn right at Beach Road and park in lot.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: Medium
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Estimated Distance: 15.0
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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