La Tour (Victoria Beach, Laguna)
- Location: Victoria Beach, Laguna. Access to Victoria Beach is via a staircase located between 2703 and 2713 Victoria Drive. From downtown Laguna Beach, take Pacific Coast Highway south for 1.8 miles and bear right on Victoria Drive. From the south, take P.C.H. north (3.1 miles past Crown Valley Parkway and 5.6 miles from downtown Dana Point) to Nyes Place. Bear right and take an immediate left on Victoria Drive, which crosses under P.C.H. Note that parking in this neighborhood is limited and restricted. Pay close attention to signs, to avoid being ticketed or towed. Allow extra time to look for parking and to walk to the staircase from your car.
- Agency: City of Laguna Beach
- Distance: 0.3 miles (allow extra time for the walk from your car)
- Elevation gain: 50 feet
- Suggested time: 15 minutes (allow extra time for the walk from your car)
- Difficulty rating: G
- Best season: All year, low tide recommended (see chart)
- USGS topo map: Laguna Beach
- Recommended gear: sun hat
- More information: Map My Hike report here; Victoria Beach Yelp page here; article about the tower here
- Rating: 3
Following one of the longest hikes ever posted on this site, we now present the shortest. Some might find calling this a hike to be a little generous but those interested in offbeat landmarks and Orange County history won’t want to miss La Tour (French for “the tower”), a 60-foot tower near Victoria Beach in Laguna. The Medieval-inspired tower was built in 1926, allowing homeowner William Brown, a state senator, access to the beach below. Sadly, the tower is closed, but it still provides a glimpse of local history and a nice, quiet place to watch the waves.
Take the staircase between 2703 and 2713 Victoria Drive down to the ocean, which deposits you on the north end of the beach. From here, turn right and cross over the rocks, passing by a concrete basin that has also served as a swimming pool on the past. La Tour comes into sight almost immediately. The rock scrambling is fairly easy compared to Dana Point and Corona Del Mar, but caution should still be exercised.
At the base of La Tour, the structure and the bluffs behind it form a sort of cave; a nice, shaded spot to enjoy watching the waves. You can extend the hike by exploring the tidepools beyond the tower to the north or south along Victoria Beach before returning up the stairs to your car.
Text and photography copyright 2015 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.