This paddle starts at Westward Beach/Point Dume State Beach at the southernmost tip of Zuma Beach, then goes around Point Dume by Pirate’s Cove Beach, and then dumps into the hidden gem of private beaches that Malibu tucks away in Dume cove. With bright and clear water, this is a great paddle for a chance to see Gray Whales and Sea Lions up close, take a break on a private beach thats unaccessible from the mainland, or make that first attempt at SUP surfing. I’ve been here many times and the best time of year is whenever the weather and conditions are nice. This paddle is one of my favorites not just for the free parking, but because the legendary Malibu sunrises that are viewable if you’re there early enough.
Paddling Trail Specs
|Time:||1hr 0min – 2hr|
|Difficulty:||Intermediate (Open ocean experience needed)|
|Best time:||Sunrise or whenever conditions are good|
|Parking:||Free & paid (See map & chart below)|
Go along PCH and turn onto Westward Beach Rd. For free parking, continue on down this road which veers left and choose a spot right before the road ends (it looks like it continues straight, but there’s a toll booth at the end of the road). The road ends where it intersects Birdview Ave right in front of “The Sunset” restaurant. There a couple of restrooms, trash cans, and showers at both paid and free parking areas, but they are sparse.
If you are paying for parking, go to this same end of the road through the tollbooth and go down the road till you find parking.
Approximate address for GPS: 6800 Westward Beach Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
There is free parking along with paid parking (check the map above for the designated zones). As Southern California natives know, its recommended that you come early (6am-8am) to guarantee a free parking spot. The paddling route from the free parking is about 2 miles longer than the paid parking. Know which one you’re prepared and in shape for.
For paid parking, there may or may not be someone at the toll booth at the front. If no one is there go on through and make SURE to get your parking pass from one of the meters because this lot is watched extremely closely by ticket enforcers. There a couple of restrooms, trash cans and showers available for use.
Paid parking accepts credit cards and cash, but no change is given. Pricing is as follows: Weekdays: $3 6am-9am / $6 9am-4pm Weekends: $8 6am-4pm / $3 4pm-6:30pm
The ocean conditions for paddling at Point Dume can vary anywhere from flat as a lake to heavy surf and strong rip-currents. More often than not, it’s rough around the point. Check the surf report before you go (located below).
Going around the point usually has some winds coming from the south, but most intermediate paddlers should be fine. Beginner and some novice paddlers may have a difficult time getting past the break on a rough day.
There are some rocks around the point & more shallow rocks in Dume Cove. Which depending on the tide, you will need to pay attention to.
Paddling in the open ocean is always unpredictable and conditions can change or deteriorate rapidly. Keep a keen eye and be ready to head back at any time. When you’re in the ocean and out past the surf zone, wear or at least carry a PFD along with have a leash. Open ocean experience is recommended for this paddle.
Tips & Insights
- Keep your eyes open for gray whales! Since the point goes right up to where the shelf drops off, its common to see gray whales migrating from January – April. I was lucky enough to see a mother & baby whale playing around and doing flips.
- I’ve never had problem with the surfers here, especially if you’re putting in right at the end of the beach; but, if you do see some give them wide berth. Odds are, you probably don’t want to be in the surf zone for too long anyway.
- Point Dume is a marine reserve so you are not allowed to go fishing or take game from this area.
- If you’re hungry after the paddle, there’s a good mexican food place tucked away in the Dume Point shopping center (on Heathercliff Rd.) on the side of the Pavillions grocery store called Lily’s Malibu. They get crazily busy on the weekends, so I recommend calling 30min ahead of time so you don’t have to wait (310-457-3745).
Don’t forget to leave me a comment with your experience or knowledge below! If you have a question, write it here!