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Thousand Steps Beach Pools in California

One of the best hidden treasures of the Orange County

Best time: March–early June | September–December

Thousand Steps Beach Pools
Thousand Steps Beach Pools
Thousand Steps Beach Pools

Laguna Beach attracts a lot of tourists in the summer, but Thousand Steps Beach has been one of the "locals only" places. Located on 9th street in South Laguna, the beach is surrounded by urban legends. It features a few sand volleyball courts and is suitable for body surfing. But the main attractions of the beach are two human-made pools that collect water during high tide and warm it up during low tide. Watching the sunset at Thousand Steps Beach pool is a priceless experience.

To get to the beach, you have to descend 219 steps (not 1000). Once you get to the beach turn left until you get to a cave. After going through the cave, it's only about 1/4 mile (402 m) until you see the pool. It is better to go when the tide is low in the morning since the trail might get dangerous and a few people have been injured trying to get to the pool.

Thousands Step Beach Pools used to be a secluded spot; however it's getting more and more popular, so it's better to come very early or avoid the high season in the summer and opt for shoulder season during spring and fall.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit Thousand Steps Beach Pools?

Visiting during non-summer months is best for less-crowded conditions at Thousand Steps Beach Pools. Enjoy these pools during low tide. These pools are also slightly warmer due to the sun. Spring and fall offer the best conditions. Make sure to take care when visiting these tide pools to avoid injury. Show more

How do I get to Thousand Steps Beach Pools?

Thousand Steps Beach Pools are accessible after descending a 219-step cliff path, then follow left until you reach a cave. Pass through the cave and continue for 1/4 mile to the pools. Caution is advised during high tide. To access these pools, make sure to plan your visit around the tide schedule. Show more

When is the best time of day to visit the beach?

Thousand Steps Beach Pools are best viewed in the early morning hours when tide pools are at their clearest. Be aware of the danger of high tide. End your day by viewing the breathtaking sunset at the pools after enjoying the beach, which is great for volleyball and body surfing. Show more

Are there any local legends or stories about the pools?

Among locals, legends of unexplainable warming during winter and bottomless depths surround Thousand Steps Beach Pools. If you’re interested in these stories, make sure to ask the locals. These local legends add to the allure of this must-see destination for both locals and tourists. Show more

What other nearby attractions should I visit when I go to Thousand Steps Beach Pools?

In addition to Thousand Steps Beach Pools, other nearby attractions like museums, theme parks, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, and Los Angeles, are worth checking out. Visitors can enjoy activities like beach volleyball and body surfing at Thousand Steps Beach Pools, making this destination perfect for beach lovers. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin