Stairs at Thousand Steps Beach to be closed for repairs until December

Beachgoers make the steep trek down to Thousand Steps Beach.
Visitors make the steep trek down to Thousand Steps Beach in south Laguna Beach.
(Don Leach / Times Community News)

The eponymous steps at Thousand Steps Beach will close Sept. 20 for repairs, shutting off public access to the beach for about 10 weeks, according to Orange County Parks, which owns and operates the stairway.

Thousand Steps Beach is in south Laguna Beach, just off 9th Street. The county parks agency announced the closure Friday and did not specify a reopening date.

Officials said the closure is to conduct major repair work on the stairway, which has been deteriorating for several years.

The staircase is narrow, the steps are short, and the climb is steep, which can be difficult for beachgoers, many of whom tote umbrellas, coolers or other heavy beach gear to and from the sand. Broken steps and exposed steel rebar add extra challenges to the trek.


“This project will perform major repairs on the stairway to provide a safe way to access Thousand Steps Beach,” said parks spokeswoman Marisa O’Neil. “The project will repair and fix all broken steps, chipped and deteriorated concrete and replace damaged rebar.”

The extent of deterioration is not clear, but O’Neil said a contractor will evaluate the damage as the project gets underway.

One injury linked to the stairs has been documented in the last four years.

Visit Laguna Beach, the city’s tourism arm, describes Thousand Steps Beach as one of the city’s classic shore breaks and a frequent spot for visiting by skim boarders and body surfers alike.

The beach is a spot of frequent activity and is known for its sandstone cliffs, tidepools and nearby Totuava Beach, which is one of the most inaccessible beaches in the city. Several accidental deaths have occurred at or nearby the beach in recent years.