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Dana Point Marine Life Refuge, CA

no permit
0 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Orange
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 215 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated Gain 200 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.17
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
80  2013-02-01
Dana Point Whale Watching Trek - Feb2013
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Dec, Mar
Sun  5:39am - 5:48pm
0 Alternative

Overview: The Dana Point Marine Life Refuge is an intertidal habitat filled with an amazing variety of marine life. The refuge extends from Strands Beach all the way to Dana Point Harbor.

Visitors can walk along the rocky beach, explore sea caves, study ancient earthquake faults and discover an abundant amount of sea life at the public tidepool exhibit.

The refuge is a perfect family outing, where children and can learn how to respect the ocean habitat and all the creatures that depend on it for life.

At low tide, visitors to the Dana Point Marine Life Refuge can observe sea anemones, star fish, octopus, shell fish and more. You might even be able to see dolphins farther out past the break lines.

Visitors are asked to treat the sea life gently. This means never picking up or stepping on live animals and plants. You can access the refuge by parking at the Ocean Institute and following the paved path to the beach shore.

The "upper refuge" has an interpretive center and parking for about 15 vehicles.

Exploring the Marine Life Refuge is sure to work up an appetite. Dana Point includes many great restaurants as well as boutique shopping.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Dana Point Marine Life Refuge
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Dana Point Whale Watching Trek - Feb2013
    Dana Point CA Whale Watching Feb2013

    Dana Point CA makes the claim of being "the whale watching capital of the west" (check out => ) and plays host to an annual "Festival of Whales" the first two weekends of March => . For my wife's birthday present, we decided to select a 4-day weekend and cash in a bunch of my Marriott Rewards points to go whale watching...

    Friday 2/1 - Arrived at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort (check out => ) just before 3pm, beating the dreaded L.A. rush hour traffic. After checking into room 3031, Lynn and I had time to explore Dana Point Harbour (check out => ), Lantern Bay Park (check out => ) and the sun setting into the Pacific Ocean as viewed from Doheny State Beach (check out => ). 5.06 miles logged on iPhone Trimble Outdoors Navigator app.

    Saturday 2/2 - We booked a mid-day whale watching tour aboard the Dana Pride (check out => and ... ching.html ). With the early morning tour unloading at the Dana Harbour Wharf after having registered a big goose egg for whale sightings, Lynn and I boarded the 95 foot vessel with fingers crossed. I remembered my Thursday fortune cookie from P.F.Chang's indicating; "Nature has a gift for you", while staring at a couple of seagulls passing overhead. First destination for the Dana Pride was a large marker buoy laden with about a dozen sea lions. The boat headed north towards Laguna Beach when a radio call indicated there's been a whale sighting near the marker buoy we just left behind. A quick 180 and a full throttle burst back to the marker buoy to capture our first whale sighting - a lazy baleen whale sticking its nose up with some blow-hole action - thought to be a gray whale. With our ship captain getting annoyed at the gathering of boats positioning themselves illegally in the oncoming path of a migrating whale, he moves on towards the mouth of Dana Point Harbour where he thought he saw a "whale footprint". We are soon rewarded with a gray whale putting on a show with multiple breaches (apparently a rare maneuver for a gray whale, but common for humpback whales). I know I captured some images of the breaches - hope something turns out! 3.82 miles logged on iPhone Trimble Outdoors Navigator app.

    Sunday 2/3 - Morning plans to check out the Ocean Institute (check out => and ) and afternoon plans to check out the San Juan Capistrano Mission (check out => and ). The trails from the Ocean Institute take you to some interesting tide pools near the Laguna Cliffs and Dana Point Marine Life Refuge. Took in some stellar views from the top of the bluff at the Dana Point Marine Life Refuge walking trails. We also checked out Heritage Park (see => ) and nearby Bluff Top Trail (see => ) on the walk back to the Laguna Cliffs Resort. 11.64 miles logged on iPhone Trimble Outdoors Navigator app. Sat back at the Laguna Cliffs Resort taking in the sunset, looking out on the water for whales, and downing a couple of Sam Adams while listening to the Super Bowl in the background...

    Monday 2/4 - Morning plans for one last tour around Lantern Bay Park (check out => ) and Doheny State Beach (check out => ). 5.55 miles logged on the iPhone app before checking out of the Laguna Cliffs Resort. Also a San Juan Capistrano Mission (check out => and ) redux prior to hitting the road mid-day for the trek back to Phoenix via CA78 through the Anza Borrego (see => ) and the Salton Sea (see => ).

    Excellent time by the sea! Surprised by the 4-day weekend mileage at 26.07 miles logged (5.06+3.82+11.64+5.55). Photos (360 images to sort through - yikes!) to be posted when I get the chance...

    Permit $$

    Map Drive

    To hike
    From the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) in the City of Dana Point, turn onto Green Lantern Street and head towards the ocean. Green Lantern Street dead-ends at the Dana Point Marine Life Refuge interpretive center and parking lot for about 15 vehicles.

    From Dana Point Harbour, take Cove Road up the bluffs to Dana Point proper. At the 3-way stop sign, turn left onto Green Lantern Street.
    page created by Randal_Schulhauser on Feb 09 2013 10:50 am
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