Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Point Dume is a rocky headland jutting southward into the Pacific Ocean, next to a fine beach and community of the same name.
Views from the top of the headland are phenomenal, stretching over sandy beaches and sea cliffs on both sides, as well as over the open Pacific Ocean.
On a clear day, you can see the Channel and Catalina Islands.
In addition to hiking, the area is great for beachgoers, nature lovers, and rock climbers.
You can find a surprising variety of activities in this beautiful setting near Malibu. Though houses surround the point, the very tip is a natural preserve and left undeveloped.
A great diversity of plants and animals thrive in this small pocket of nature.
On land, you might see rabbits, coyotes, butterflies, and birds like roadrunners and burrowing owls.
In the sky look for hawks, pelicans, and various seabirds.
In the tide pools, you can find sea stars, crabs, anemones, urchins, octopi, and all kinds of other small ocean life.
In the water, you might spot seals, sea lions, dolphins, or even whales. Any time of year is great to visit, but the best is perhaps February to April, when you have the best chance of spotting migrating gray whales and their calves.
This is also the time to witness the large yellow flowers of a shrub called the giant sea dahlia. The main entrance is along Cliffside Drive, where there is very limited parking.
Alternatively, you can park along Westward Beach Road near Zuma Beach for free, and take a free shuttle to Cliffside Drive that runs on weekends and most summer days.
There is also a trail that leads from the east end of Point Dume State Beach up onto Point Dume.
This trail is easy to access from the paid lot at the end of Westward Beach Road, or by walking from Zuma Beach. The route mapped here begins from Cliffside Drive, goes down the wooden stairs to the tide pools beach and back up, then takes a panoramic, spiraling route around Point Dume to the top.
Shorter and longer variations are possible, as is starting from Westward Beach Road instead of Cliffside Drive.
Note that staying on designated trails is required, in order to protect the fragile habitat of the preserve. Sources: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=623 https://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/PtDumeBrochure.pdf