Jason Daniel Shaw
SS Dominator Shipwreck Hike in Palos Verdes
SS Dominator Shipwreck – Los Angeles, CA
This blog is about how to get to the shipwreck hike in Palos Verdes and what you will see when you get there. Not long after moving to the Southbay of Los Angeles, I found out about this spot and since then, have visited many times. Things have changed a lot over just the few years that I have been going.
Getting to the Shipwreck Hike
There are many spots that you can start the hike from so I will talk about the ones that will get you the closest. I park in the 2200 block of Paseo Del Mar in Palos Verdes. You can put the address below into Google Maps and it will get you there.
2225 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
Park on the west side of the street. On this same side of the road, you will see a vacant, green cliff area which is where you will start the hike. This part of the coast is called Lunada Bay.
The SS Dominator Hike
There are a few different routes down the cliff that I have used, some are more difficult than the others, it will just depend on how adventurous you are. The easiest of the routes is at the south end of the cliffs, just before the houses begin, near Agua Amarga Canyon. Once you make your way down to the beach, you will head north. As you start rounding the corner, the beach will turn more rocky and a little more difficult but is still reasonably manageable. This is Palos Verdes Point and should be just below Rocky Point Rd. The shipwreck is just at the tip of that point.
The SS Dominator Shipwreck
You will start to see debris on the rocks from the shipwreck once you round Palos Verdes Point. There isn’t much left of the shipwreck and it seems to be getting smaller and smaller each time I visit. You can still find some metal decking, various mechanical parts like gears and such as well as what is left of a bulldozer that was brought in to try and dispose of the ship. You can read more about the actual ship and what happened during the wreck here. Be very careful around the metal as the pieces are very rusted and very sharp. One of the trips I slipped on a rock and ended up cutting my ankle pretty bad.
Continuing the Shipwreck Hike
From this point, you can either turn around and hike back the way you came or continue on north along the beach. There isn’t much more shipwreck to see (other than more small debris) but it does make it into a nice loop (about 2-3 miles) instead of an out-and-back (about 1.5 miles). This last trip, we continued on to the Drain Pipe Trail about 0.8 miles north of the shipwreck. At this point, you can continue up the drain pipe and back to Paseo del Mar. But first, make sure to check out the tide pools near where the drain pipe meets the beach. Have you done this hike before? Let me know below in the comments or over on Instagram.