Santa Monica Bluffs and Beach Walk W/ Stairs

BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE WALK: Level 1/10

DISTANCE: About 3 miles total

TIME: 1  to 1 1/2 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

***Please Note: I usually don't have access to the internet on the day of my walks, so I will not be able to answer questions on the day of. Please do not underestimate how long it will take to arrive, especially considering the traffic on a Saturday night in Santa Monica.***

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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  • Claudia B.

    Thanks to you, Loren!

    July 13

    • Loren

      Thank you for coming! And really, thank you and congrats for completing the walk, as I know that was a bit difficult for you to do.

      1 · July 14

  • Loren

    Thank you to everyone that came and sorry I missed those that couldn't make it or came late. I look forward to seeing you all at my next walk, although with my work schedule I don't know when that is yet.

    July 13

  • Peter

    Thanks for the walk, Loren. Sorry I got separated from you guys towards the end.

    July 12

  • Becky N.

    I could not find Dean's till 5:20. Will know where it is next time!

    July 12

  • paulo a.

    How can we catch up with you guys? What path or streets are you guys on now?

    July 12

  • Loren

    Look forward to seeing everyone! Remember to bring plenty of water and DO NOT underestimate how long it will take you to arrive.

    2 · July 10

    • Surferchick

      Gordon, Loren says in the event info above that she does not have internet access on the day of the event, so won't receive any same-day messages.

      July 12

    • canyongirl

      This really sounded awesome. Unfortunately I had to become a no show also due to time today and the parking. Hope it was great!

      July 12

  • Gordon

    Where is where Loren? I am waiting here at the cafe.

    July 12

  • paulo a.

    Almost there, just looking for a parking.... thanks

    July 12

    • willie

      me too

      July 12

    • Gordon

      Has anyone seen Loren? I am here

      July 12

  • Thomas

    Sorry, I had to become a No. Time shrank for me today.

    July 12

  • Kim C

    Maybe next time. Parking is too crazy.

    July 12

  • Eileen Lee G.

    Is this a beginner hike? I can do 6-10 miles on a bike . I on hikes up to 4 miles mostly flat a little bit hills. Also when downtown greater was around , I did alot hike with them. I read the description and there is alot of stairs.

    July 12

    • Eileen Lee G.

      If I go I would be going by bus from woodland Hill or Tarzana. I did buy a ticket to a movie . I might go on the hike to the beach . Free ice cream now I can not have the ice cream.

      July 12

    • Eileen Lee G.

      The hike is Tomorrow at 3:00. I do not have a car.

      July 12

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to meet everyone

    July 10

  • Sharmen

    I'm looking forward to this. It will be my first time at it. Our friend Kim will be my one plus.
    XOXO

    July 9

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