Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

My husband and are doing the Newport Beach to San Clemente walk in September.  All our reservations are set and we are very excited .  Any last minute advice for us?  This is our very first  walkabout.  Any suggestions on the best backpack?

Views: 575

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


September is a great time for the Newport Beach to San Clemente Walkabout.  The beaches should be uncrowded and the Pacific warmed up for luxurious swims.  I suggest you select a daypack that fits your shoulders and torso, one that has a sternum strap and hip belt.  Even though you will probably be only carrying 12-15 pounds, your shoulders will be grateful that you carried most of that weight on your hips. 

Sales people at good camping supplies stores, like REI, are usually very helpful at assisting in the selection of a daypack.  They should have a weight that you can put in the pack to see how it feels under hiking conditions.

I’m currently using an Osprey daypack, and I like it, but there many other good brands.  My best advice -  resist the urge to fill it.  Travel light.

Have a great walkabout!


Hi Tracy ~ My husband and I are walking through the same area but in October. We're doing the entire walk, Malibu to Mexico, starting September 30th. Would love to connect with you if our times overlap. We'll arrive in Newport on 11/9 and arrive in San Clemente on the 12th, staying in Laguna for 2-nights. Have a great trip. Would love to hear about your experience.


Tracy, I would like to email you after you answer my friend request. I fininshed the same hike on 
Sept 25, and have some things to share with you. Please reply or accept my friend request so we can communicate on email.

Judith Turner

Hello Susan !

What a great experience we had walking from Newport Beach to San Clemente !  We found it very liberating just traveling with our knapsacks.....follow  Tom's advice though and  keep the weight of your knapsack under 10-15lbs.  My husband ended up mailing some items  (8lbs!!)  home from Laguna Beach in order to lighten his load.  The Weather was spectacular, the beaches sooooo beautiful !   We did end up walking on the Pacific Coast Highway for some of the trip as the tides were not in synch with our schedule.  But still very beautiful.  Best Sushi we ever had was at a little sushi restaurant right  across from the Inn at Laguna Beach, definitely  worth the wait.  At the start of our trip we stayed at the Newport Beach Inn for two days - but probably should have only stayed one night, as we found the restaurant selections within walking distance limited.  We were unable to get a reservation in crystal cove, but did stop for lunch there . It was amazing  - and we  wished we could have stayed there a week!

  Best part of our vacation......?  watching the sun go down sitting  on the beach with a glass of wine every evening.   Worst part of our vacation...? I got terrible blisters on my foot despite having proper footwear.   I would recommend this vacation to anyone if they wish to try something different and step outside their comfort zone.    We had many laughs and it allowed us to reconnect .....a  lot of conversations happen when its just the two of you walking on secluded beaches for miles : )

  Thank You Tom for a great vacation experience!


Hi Tracy ~ 

I'm so glad you had a great experience.  We ended up coming home earlier than planned. We walked six days from Leo Carrillo State Beach to the San Pedro Ferry and spent two nights on Santa Catalina. The tides were not on our schedule either, and much of the walk was on bike paths or the PCH. We're also not used to walking in such heat......I'm really a wimp if it's too hot.

We met some wonderful people along the way, all who thought we were a bit crazy walking to Mexico. Venice Beach was the most interesting place to walk, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula was the most beautiful.


Sorry, wrong email  jturner88@comcast.net

Hello Tracy,

I am the other person on the Blog who traveled the same route at approximately the same time. On Sept. 20, my husband and I took JetBlue from SF to Long Beach and got a shuttle to the Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel in Newport. We ate at the Bear Flag Fish Co and it was one of our better meals. We are in our early 70s so we attracted quite a bit of attention on our hike. By 9:30 that next morning we had passed the Yacht clubs on Bayside Drive and our thighs were very sore. It was super hot and we welcomed the shade at Corona Beach. The snackbar was not open but there were restrooms! After the beach we were on the PCH until Crystal Cove.

There, we stayed walking thru the campgrounds for a long time, looking for a place to rest. Finally we sat on a sink counter by a restroom to take a break. After going down to the beach we were able to see Crystal Cove.

They let us checkin at 2:30! Sunset and appetizers and drink were lovely. 

Sept. 22 was great until we had to scramble up the hillside to the PCH bike lane, still very hot! We got down to a few pocket beaches to get wet, but the way was blocked by construction on the beach and on the cliffs. Heisler Park was great, and we hiked to our hotel, Pacific Edge, on the beach. Tide was supposed to be low, but the hotels were very close to the waterline. Finally a Ralphs across the street from the hotel! And a pool and much appreciated hot tub and sunset.

We spotted the #1 bus sign and realized that we could catch it at Aliso Beach to Dana Pt. for 75cents. So our hike to Aliso beach was also difficult due to high water and gated communities. Aliso was beautiful and my husband saw many fish around the rocks. No food available. Dana point was fine, we napped and went to the outdoor part of the Dana museum and got sushi nearby. The Dana Pt Inn was like a convention center, but it had a pool and hottub and our muscles were working much better!

The last day on Doheny Beach etc. to San Clemente was also quite hot. So many homes built right on the beach, and so many rocks baseball sized, covering the whole beach! No Shade!!! Finally hiked the El Camino Real, not much bike lane, but a great coffee store and then a beautiful new bike path to the lovely BeachComber Motel. Had a kitchen, but no groceries unless we hiked up to the top of the mesa! Got takeout and just relaxed in front of the Motel to watch the sunset. 

Bussed back to Long Beach, 3 hours for 75cents and great views of the hike as we went by. Yes it was a unique experience of togetherness and much relying on each other for inspiration!!

Please email me: jturner@comcast.net and we can compare notes!

My husband leave Phoenix tomorrow early to fly in and hike San Clemente to Newport Beach. We did La Jolla to Mexico last year and had a great time! We're still trying to figure out best footwear for this type of adventure. Hiking boots seem too heavy but the water tennis shoes I wore last year didn't provide the support I needed for long hikes with a pack.

It looks like the weather is going to be very cool for this trip! I'll try to do a daily check-in here, hopefully, with helpful insights for future adventurers.

Hello Carla,

Haven't had any replies since last October! Shoes: I wore Adidas hiking boots, very lightweight and got soaking wet a number of times and are still very nice looking. Rei wool socks were great even when wet. My husband wore new Adidas running type shoes and they are also still great. He wore them a lot without socks and when wet. I used one hiking pole around the rocky outcrops and over those baseball rocks by Doheney, at least an hour of those. Please continue to post, curious to know how your trip goes, and more info about the LaJolla to Mexico leg.

Judy Turner

Hi Judy, my husband gave me a lot of information to post about our last section of the coast we did but I've still not done anything with that.

We're going to do the Oceanside to La Jolla section starting next week, Wednesday. I'll do my best to post each day ~ it's only 3 days/2 nights. I wish we would have planned at least one extra day in this section.

I'm going to try wearing my neoprene booties for hiking on the sand. If that doesn't work well the I'll take the advice of some of the other contributors that seem to have had success with their footwear.

Have you done any other sections since this post?


I wear a light weight hiking boot (Keen) for a multi-day hike along the coast.  If possible, I try to hike a portion of each day barefoot. 

Jennifer Williams hiked the Malibu Coast walkabout with five other women.  She posted this to the Walkabout California forum.

"Footwear:  In our group, two people wore Chacos, one wore Vibrams, one wore Ahnus, and two wore Keens.  We’d all broken our shoes in significantly prior to the walkabout.  The wearers of the Chacos and Vibrams got blisters; the others did not.  We were grateful for the suggestion to bring a first aid kit, and we recommend that folks bring a lot of moleskin!  Walkabout-ers should expect to walk in water regularly.  (Tip:  Moleskin comes off after moderate exposure to sand and seawater.  We learned to apply the moleskin and then wrap medical tape around the parts of our feet where the moleskin was.  That seemed to last much longer.)"

Thank you, Jennifer for your wise words.

The Malibu Coast walkabout is the most challenging of the 200 miles of inn-to-inn hiking in "Walkabout Malibu to Mexico."  It is pretty easy to avoid getting your feet wet on the other hikes.


The Walkabout Books

© 2021   Created by Emily Courtney.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service