“Take a coastal run along some of California's best sand dunes.
— John McKinney
Swimming · Views
This beach route would be challenging to run.
From the parking area at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes County Park head down the coast, to the south, along the massive coastal sand dunes. You'll probably be sharing the beach with a lot surfers and fisherman for the first mile of the run, but after that the beach becomes sparsely populated.
After a little more than 2 miles of running south along the beach you'll come across Mussel Rock, which blocks you from continuing along the beach. Most people turn around here, but some may choose to go up and over Mussel Rock to continue their run.
If you choose to go over Mussel Rock the easiest and safest way to do so is to run up one of the gulches on the north side of the rock. From here, you can make your way around the top of the rock and finally southward on sandy paths to reach Paradise Beach. At this point the Guadalupe Dunes Trail comes to its end.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Flora & Fauna
Sand verbena, sea rocket, morning glory, mock heather, lupine, and the soft-leaved paintbrush are all plants that can be found in the dunes on this trail.