Corona del Mar is an affluent area of Newport Beach, California. South of the main harbor, CdM has beautiful, jagged coastline that puts its beaches among the best in Southern California. A lot of the best coastline is difficult to access here, as there’s almost no public access between Crystal Cove and Little Corona Beach. Instead, it’s just a series of ritzy houses (including my new ultimate dream home).
On New Year’s Day, I headed out to Corona del Mar to meet up with Bill McIntosh, who had previously tracked down the elusive Arch Rock at Corona del Mar. You might think “elusive” is an exaggeration given that Arch Rock is clearly marked on Google Maps and it’s only a short distance from Little Corona Beach.
Yeah, that’s not it. Many local photographers think that’s it, but this one is way better. (I suppose it may have a different name entirely, but I’ve also seen it called Arch Rock…there are about 37 locations known as “Arch Rock” in Orange County, it seems.)
Bill had already scouted the location and found the correct spot. When I arrived, I made the same mistake as so many others, assuming the first Arch Rock was it. I called Bill wondering where he was, and he advised me to keep walking. Part of me wonders whether Bill’s New Year’s Resolution was “death by ocean,” as getting out to Arch Rock was a bit more treacherous than I expected.
I swear I walked about a mile from Little Corona Beach, and I’m glad I wore hiking shoes instead of flip flops, as it wasn’t easy. At high tide, it would be downright impossible to get out there. It was well worth it, as even on a gorgeous sunset evening on a busy holiday, there were only a couple of surfers who left as we arrived. Contrast that with Little Corona Beach, which was packed with people.
At was a beautiful scene, and really nice way to start the New Year. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed with my photos from the evening, though. I should have easily walked away with 5+ keepers, but everything is sorta “meh.” Even this shot suffers from where I decided to stand and the height of my tripod, which cause the cool arch to be mostly clipped in the photo. Rookie mistake.
Along those lines, I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a rut as of late. Despite beautiful, snowy conditions in Yosemite, I don’t think I came away with anything great from that trip in December (and still haven’t edited a single photo). On recent trips to the beach, I’ve left my camera at home, too. I’m hoping to bust out of this soon and start the year out strong with some good photos, but haven’t had success thus far. Hopefully editing some old photos and posting here will help!
Have you been to Corona del Mar? Hiked out to this Arch Rock? What do you think of it? Have any questions or other thoughts? Please share below in the comments!