Some days Aliso Beach is okay for running or taking a walk and some days it isn’t. It all depends on what the waves and tide are doing. At high tides the beach shrinks to next to nothing. This morning I sat on the hill watching 6 foot waves detonating right on the shore and launching white water all the way up the berm and within 10 feet of the sidewalk that borders the sand and the parking lot. The reef area on the south end was flooded and a normally large plot of sand tucked back by the snack bar and up to the coastal hill, was made small. The other element that factors into Aliso Beach being a good place to run or walk is the slope of the beach. Most runners prefer to run on a a flat surface. They don’t care if there are inclines or declines but not when there is slope running perpendicular to the direction they are running. With the way waves beat this shore up, there is a common slope to the beach and it can be extreme after periods of larger surf. It makes it much harder to run on.
High tides shut down the run or walk that you would make south to west street. The reef gets flooded out making it too dangerous to pass. You will here lifeguards warn people about being up on the rocks on days where the tides are high and the waves are big. It also creates a sloping beach that is difficult to run on and forces you to keep an eye on the waves as they come up the beach. I would assume that runners are not all that interested in soaking their $130.00 Nike Shoes! Walking also has it’s challenges with the slope of the beach but is easier to do then run. Calling it like it is, walking and running is more pleasant on a flatter surface and that is especially so when they are done on sand.
There are low tides of course, making a check of the surf and tides at Aliso Beach a smart move before going down there in the hopes of a walk or run. When the tides are lower, the sand is flatter and more manageable. With those tides it is possible to run all the way down to the tide pools just below the Montage Hotel Laguna Beach and past Table Rock to the headland on the south end at West Street. It seems crazy but the way Laguna Beach is divided by twists and turns in the coastline and the divisions created by sea cliffs, headlands and inter-coastal reefs, you could walk or run around the corner from Aliso Beach and feel like you got in your car and went to a new exotic location. These are some of the most pristine and beautiful waters along our coastline and there really isn’t a better scenery to put yourself in than the stretches of beach found at Aliso Beach Park.