Gallery, Trail Guides

Shipwreck hike (Palos Verdes)

19 Apr , 2018   Gallery

Rusted metal is scattered across the shores of the Palos Verdes peninsula after the SS Dominator, a WWII-era freighter, ran aground in 1961. Today, the wreckage serves as a popular POI for hikers.

Around the bay, there used to be surf shacks that hikers often used to take breaks at, but most have been torn down to discourage surf gangs. If you look hard enough, you may still find one!

There are several ways to hike to the shipwreck, like the highly-cited Drain Pipe Trail, that all involve walking across the rocky coastline. For a shortcut, there’s a quicker route that begins over Lunada Bay.


SCREENSHOT THESE DIRECTIONS: Shortcut hike to the SS Dominator Shipwreck

  • Trailhead Address: 2301 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA
  • Parking: Free street parking along Paseo Del Mar.
  • Distance: 1.5 miles there & back
  • Difficulty: 🌮🌮🌮 out of 5
  • Step-By-Step Instructions: 
    1. Park near Paseo Del Mar and Oakley Rd. The trailhead begins across the street at the cliff.
    2. Find the route down to Lunada Bay. Be warned: it’s hella steep.
    3. Once at the bottom, turn right and follow the rocky shore around the bend for about .5 miles until you reach the shipwreck.
    4. After you explore the wreckage, you can return the way you came or continue onward for another .4 miles.
    5. You should have service, so find the path up (again, steep!) around Paseo Del Mar and Epping Road.
    6. Walk back through the neighborhood along Paseo Del Mar to your vehicle.


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