About Salt Creek

Nestled in a beautiful cove at the northern end of Dana Point lies Salt Creek, a watery playground of long pointbreak-style lefts, wedgy A-frames, relentless shorebreak and sand-gurgling rights. You name the type of wave, and Creek probably has it.

At the most southern end of the beach is the Point. If the sand is good, it's a goofy-footer's skatepark as far as left pointbreaks go: extremely rippable, extremely crowded and has an extremely small takeoff zone. The Point takes any south swell and on the largest days, it can reel across the bay producing 50-yard rides. Watch out for rocks on the inside at low tide.

Middles is usually where the rest of the pack ends up catching waves. Peaks crumble year-round from the outside and suck dry on the inside, creating ankle-snapping aerial sections on the right tide. During summer after 10 a.m., Middles is black balled and Point is the only spot left open to surfers.

If you're one of those surfers who enjoys pulling into deep closeout tubes and getting sand in all of your orifices, head north of Middles to the section in front of the golf course called Gravels. On west swells, Gravels is a showcase right-hand barrel. It peels in about two feet of water on any tide, and sometimes throws squarely into shore.

Source: Salt Creek Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate - advanced

Beg Int Adv

Beginning spongers to high-performance pros.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Cliquish, with a healthy dose of grumpy old timers.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Moderate to extremely heavy.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Lined up left point and wedging peaks through middles and gravels.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Typically pretty manageable but turns into more work at size.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Usually ok, but it can have a lot of water quality warnings from the Creek outflow

Additional Information


Impact on the inside sandbar, drop-ins, hostile old timers who still think it's the '70s.


There are parking machines at the lot at the top of the trail. Free parking is across the street by the library. Seasonal county passes can be purchased.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, bodyboard, bodysurfing


Rock, gravel, sand

Best Season


Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos
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