This Little-Known California Beach With A Hidden Entrance Is A Secluded Paradise

A sun-drenched pocket of salt, sea, and sand, Malibu's coveted hidden beaches are every bit the quintessential California dream. Malibu locals have some of the world's best beaches at the tip of their fingers, with residents just a seashell's throw away from gems like Zuma and El Matador Beach. Only one hour from Los Angeles and a perfect stop on a trip along the Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu will transport you with its stunning patches of paradise. While Malibu Surfrider Beach and Point Dume State Beach might top the list of Malibu's most popular beaches, this picturesque stretch of coastline has more than one hidden gem at the base of its towering bluffs.

Don't be surprised if you've never heard of Lechuza Beach before. A glistening secret cove nestled in the heart of Malibu, this beach may be public, but it will have sunbathers under the illusion it's a private jewel. This little local sweet spot was even mentioned on a Los Angeles Times list of Malibu's most stunning hidden, private beaches. Backed by seagreen cliffs and surrounded by multi-million dollar mansions and the Santa Monica Mountains, Lechuza Beach capitalizes on precisely what makes Malibu feel like Heaven onEarth. Captivating rock formations, tidal pools, and patches of stones mingle with the gentle blue-toned crashing waves. While it may be difficult to find the gateway to this tucked-away cove, the hidden entrance partly contributes to why Lechuza Beach is so secluded and beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Lechuza Beach — A hidden sensation in Malibu

Just west of Broad Beach along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, Lechuza Beach has three main access points at various points along the coast. West and East Sea Level Drive both contain entrance points, but the most convenient access way is found at the intersection of Bunnie Lane and Broad Beach Road, where there is plenty of street parking for visitors. Passing through the gate, a small dirt pathway sheltered by a canopy of lush plantation gives way to a wooden staircase that leads down to the shoreline.

Given the rocky coastline and less-than-prime conditions for watersports, surfing and swimming are not recommended at Lechuza Beach. However, the expansive sand banks and picturesque views make it the perfect lounging spot to spread out a beach towel and soak in the sweet California sunshine. Lechuza Beach's secluded location means there are no facilities or food shacks directly located on the grounds, so sunbathers should plan to pack carefully for a full day at this beach. However, the beach is just a few miles away from Point Dume Village, a lively coastal outlet with an abundance of cafés, retail shops, and eateries — and one place in Malibu where you're likely to spot celebrities. Grab a vibrant smoothie bowl from Sunlife Organics or pick up an iced coffee to sip on the sand from Le Cafe de la Plage Malibu. 

Battle of the beaches in Malibu

With temperatures heating up in Malibu over the summer, the tendency for tourists to find their way down to these secluded shores tends to rise. While those residing outside Malibu are enthralled by Lechuza Beach's vacant shores, Malibu locals can't say the same. In June 2023, the city of Malibu found itself at odds with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) over the beach's public access signs.

According to a CBS news report, Malibu came under fire with accusations of purposely removing signs directing beach goers to the entrance of this beach. Malibu officials may be determined to keep Lechuza Beach hidden from the public eye, but it's legally owned by the MRCA, allowing free access to its shores. The report stated that the signs had only been up for only 18 days before supposedly being torn down by Malibu officials. The city of Malibu isn't the only one who's expressed concern over these hidden gems being overrun by tourists.

Disputes between affluent Malibu homeowners and beachgoers have been an ongoing issue regarding the access of Malibu's secret beaches, Lechuza Beach among them. Visitors to Lechuza Beach should take extra caution to ensure they aren't blocking driveways and are adhering to all county laws during their trip to these sometimes controversial hot spots. Despite these struggles among locals and beachgoers, visitors to Malibu are blessed with the freedom of public access to some of this city's most stunning California state beaches.