1,000 Steps Secret Pools by Eddie Rios in Laguna Beach, California

There is much more to Laguna Beach than what was once depicted on the horribly cliche take MTV took on it in the mid 2000’s. One of the most coveted “locals only” spots is the secret pools.  There are different local legends about the pools from that they were for ex playboys of the past to being a dolphin sanctuary in the 30’s.  Maybe the truth sits somewhere in between, but what I do know is that it’s a great place to post up and relax with friends and family. I frequently visit the pools for different shoots and the photos in this post are from two different trips through the sea cave and up and over the cliffs to the pools. I would be shunned out of my city if I gave away the exact location, but what I can tell you is head to 10th St. Beach (aka Thousand Steps) and make your way to the left side through the caves and you should be well on your way to finding this secluded seaside spot.

Name:Eddie Rios

Photographer & Filmmaker


Binge watching Netflix and eating tacos post surf sesh.

Tell us about Laguna Beach:

Famous for being a tourist destination in the summer, this normally locals only town has many claims to fame, most notably being the epicenter of arts and culture in the sea of whitewashed picket fences that is Orange County. There are an endless amount of beaches and an equal amount of taco shops (thanks to our hispanic neighbors from the south) that you can escape to. Traffic sucks and so do the people sometimes, but there is literally something for everyone here.

A perfect day?

A perfect day would be waking up early and surfing at Rock Pile, then grabbing a cup of joe and a breakfast burrito at Orange Inn. I think post morning surf meeting up with friends and hiking up to Top Of The World to see the best view of the city would be more than adequate. Lunch would have to be a big slice from Gina’s Pizza then skate down main and find some new digs at North Menswear. Sunset at Ruby St. Beach would end the day.

What is the best thing about your spot?

Secluded and very unique.

What is the worst?


What would be surprising about Laguna Beach to an outsider?

Laguna Beach is one of those places that has so much that makes it unique and I think that any outsider would be surprised with the amount there is to do, especially “locals only” places like the secret pools.

If your city was a person or character who would it be?

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, because it’s a little crazy, but a whole lot of fun!

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Jack Belli, The Neighborhood Journal, & Roah Summit.



Name:Eddie Rios

City:Laguna Beach

Favorite place to eat:

La Sirena Grill

Favorite place to drink:

Zinc Cafe & Market

Favorite shop:

North Menswear

Local Tip:

Traffic is pretty crazy, but even worse in summer, so try coming in the off-season. Plus everything will be cheaper.

Must Do:

Visit Treasure Island and Victoria beaches.