El Pescador State Beach, a remote pocket beach along Pacific Coast Highway in the northern reaches of Malibu, has retained its wild and unspoiled beauty. Though it does get visitors, on the weekend mostly, they tend to be beachcombers who enjoy the unaltered coast and rocks below the bluffs. This isn’t the type of beach for families looking for all the conveniences normally found at Santa Monica or Redondo.
Because of the remoteness of this coastline and the narrow entrance from PCH most visitors usually are either locals or people deliberately seeking the rocky shore. For the visitor the beach offers, for better or worse, a small dirt parking lot (with an eight dollar all day pass available from the pay-station), a steep trek down to the water, and port-a-potties (in the parking lot).
Earlier I referred to El Pescador as a pocket beach. That’s because it’s part of a group of three small beaches collectively known as the Robert H. Meyers Memorial Beach a part of the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area. In addition to El Pescador the others two beaches are La Piedra, (about a quarter-mile to the south) and El Matador (about a mile to the south). They’re grouped together within short distance of each other along PCH (Hwy 1) just south of Decker Road (Hwy 23) intersection. They also have similar features: small road frontage (that is a single lane entrance with one sign), they’re sandwiched between large private estates, and all have long steep or winding paths down to the water.
Now, I know this doesn’t fit the image of smooth sandy beaches we’ve come to think of as typical Los Angeles beaches, but I do know a lot of people (my kids and grand-kids included) who love this part of the coast. What they appreciate is the remoteness and that there are no commercial developments.
So, if you decide to drive up the coast to visit, here’s what you will be able to do: Stroll the beach as far as you want along the rugged bluffs, watch the local surfers and paddle boarders ride the waves, relax in the sun without the crowds, watch for dolphins cruising up and down, or maybe the occasional sea otters feeding among the kelp beds.
Best of all, you can join the kids and snoop around tide pools. You’ll be amazed at the all life that thrives under the rocks and water. Sounds like fun? You bet it does. You and the kids will be delighted when you catch sight of a baby octopus hunting among the tide pools.
I suggest you plan a visit and get away from the city crowds for a while. Go to www.lamountains.com a website maintained by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Here you can get information on directions, amenities, upcoming programs and hours. The beach address is 32860 Pacific Coast Highway at Decker Canyon, Malibu, CA 90265, and Telephone 310-457-1324. Watch for the sign facing PCH.
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Los Angeles has many beaches up and down the coastline that are great for outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for a few fun places to take visitors or for a day trip for the whole family click on the list below for some good ideas: