Worth the Climb

Laguna Beach is famous for its shoreline.  While the beach opposite the downtown area is well known and receives large amounts o public use, much of the coastal area adjoins private property and is therefore cut off from public use.  While the shoreline itself remains public property up to the level of the mean annual high tide point, this often leads many coves and small beaches to be cut off from public access.  To make this resource available to people, numerous public access sites have been set up along the California coast.  One of the most popular of these to be found along the Orange County shoreline is the 1,000 Step Beach to be found in Laguna Beach.  A series of stairs take the user down from atop the coastal bluffs to a scenic beach below.  It is something of a favorite with the local crowd who value it for the pristine nature of the setting that is surprising so close to the heart of town

There are not really a thousand steps to the beach below though it may seem like that on the climb back up.  Perhaps this is what keeps the crowds away.  The beach is seldom crowded even on weekends in summer when hordes throng other better known beaches nearby

There are actually 230 steps in the stairs.  They start by the intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway and Avenue 9.  There are handrails provided on either side of the stairs, and the stairway is bordered by numerous trees and bushes

The Effort Pays Off

The fact that there are so many stairs is a big part of the reason why 1,000 Step Beach remains so clean.  People do not want to carry a lot of stuff down all the steps, and as a result, you will see few people laying out a picnic on the sand.  There is not a lot of garbage and litter to leave behind

On the trip up and down, one can look on with some envy perhaps at the collection of elevators and tram lines that home owners in the area have for getting down from their home sites to the beach below.  This is one of the most high value areas for real estate in a state known for high real estate prices.   The owners here have obviously paid plenty to ride up and down in style

Parking can be difficult to find as there is no designated lot provided, and the steps are found in a residential neighborhood with little public parking available.  Locals advise to simply search for a spot and be willing to walk several blocks to the head of the stairs.  It is a dozen flights down in any event so a few blocks should not be a big deal in terms of the energy needed to get there and back

There are tide pools to enjoy along the shore here and even a sea cave.  This site is only accessible at periods of low tide.