This is almost a continuation of the previous post however I decided to separate them because it's easy to do one without the other. Point Dume sits on top of Zuma/Westward Beach and overlooks the beach and ocean. It's a beautiful short hike, 4 miles round trip. It becomes especially popular during whale watching season (mid-December through March), when hikers ascend to the lookout at the top of Point Dume to get a chance to spot a migrating California gray whale.
We went on a bright and sunny April day. We parked on the street in the free parking and walked up to the trail head. Once at the trail head there was a distinct path that led up to the lookout point. Along the trail there were various plants including a community of sea fig and sage, coreopsis and prickly pear cactus. It took about 15 minutes to get to the top however it is not an amazing view spot. We took some pics on top of the official Point Dume sign. At the top of Point Dume you can look down into Pirate's Cove which is two hundred yards of beach tucked away between two rocky outcroppings (see the previous post to actually get to Pirates Cove). Since there was more path left (I think we came up the wrong side) we kept trekking. Walking a little further we came upon another lookout point with benches then found the path that led down to the beach. We ventured off of this path to get to the cliff lookout point. I must warn, this isn't part of the park path and I don't think its really allowed to veer off course but the view was spectacular and worth it.
As we stood atop the rocky triangle projecting into the Pacific, we could clearly see the dense black Zuma volcanics and much softer white sedimentary beds of the sea cliffs extending both ways. After we enjoyed the fantastic views we went back to the main trail and descended the stairs to the beach.
You can start either at the top of the path or from the beach parking and walk up. I do recommend if you do Point Dume, go out to the beach as well and play in the sand!