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Santa Monica Bluffs and Beach Walk W/ Stairs


DISTANCE: About 3 miles total

TIME: 1 1/2- 2 hours at a moderate pace (sooner, of course, depending on pace)

This is a shorter version of the Santa Monica-Bluffs and Beach Walk illustrated in the book Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming, a book I highly recommend you buy or borrow from the library if you are interested in outdoor walks and secret stairs all over Los Angeles. This walk will be later in the evening, so it should be cooler and (hopefully) less crowded. We will start and end at Big Dean's Cafe.

This walk does not include the infamous Santa Monica steps/stairs and instead will include the following stairs:

• One near Montana Avenue has 168 steps rising about 105 feet above PCH.

• One near Idaho Avenue has 48 steps rising about 30 feet above the California Incline

• One near Arizona Avenue has 111 steps rising about 65 feet above PCH.

• One near Broadway has about 30 steps rising about 50 feet above PCH.

Other than the stairs, the walk will alternate between the flat, concrete ocean front walkway, flat, dirt pathways along the Santa Monica bluffs and bridges. There will be beautiful views of the beach and pier, plant life and statues of important contributors to Santa Monica and surrounding parks and areas.

There are plenty of restrooms, benches and scenic areas for rest breaks. I will occasionally stop for breaks and for people to catch up (I will stop at the end point of each stairway). If you need to stop, please let me or somebody know because you might be left behind otherwise. Please refrain from bringing children and dogs unless they are super special awesome and can clearly take the challenge. Despite having 4 stairs, there are a lot of flat sections in between so this is really good for beginners.

We will start at 5 pm sharp, so please plan your arrival accordingly as there will be traffic and potential parking problems. Bring plenty of water, good walking shoes, good attitude and probably a jacket. 

Parking Info: To reiterate what I've told another member, I don't know that much about parking since I don't drive, but here is what another member has said about her parking: "[...]The cheapest that I found was a parking structure not far from the meeting place on 4th st and arizona ave. The first 90 min is free , $1 for the next hour, then $1.50 for each +30 min after. It was a short walk to Big Dean's from there. Hope this helps." There are also other parking structures all over Santa Monica starting from 4th st. to Ocean Ave. There is one near my work on 2nd st. between Colorado and Broadway at the end of the 3rd St. Promenade, but I don't know how much it costs.

For more information about possible parking near the SM pier, click here:

ParkMe via Santa Monica (this uses the ParkMe system if that matters)

Some insight from other members in the comments section

For more details about the route, click here:

SM Bluffs and Beach Walk W/ Stairs

Legal: I am just a volunteer receiving no compensation for organizing these walks and am not responsible for any person/people participating in them.

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  • Evan

    Nice walking and jumped in the water.

    May 15, 2014

  • lois c.

    Would someone be coming from the Beverly Hills area.
    Would be happy to share expenses. As I am not always near a computer, please call me.

    May 9, 2014

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