What? : Point Lobos Park
landscape has headlands, ocean cliffs, coves, small sandy bays and open meadows
and cypress trees. This is considered by many to be the "crown jewel"
of the California state park system.
Where? : Located just
at the south side of Carmel-By-The-Sea, about 15 minutes’ drive south of
Due note 1: There are no
pets, bikes, fires, rock climbing, or camping allowed.
Due note 2: The offshore
area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world popular with
Due note 3: On weekend it is
a crowded park, parking lot are getting full early day and the entrance is
closed, people are parking their cars on the roadside and walk into the park. Drive
carefully and slow down near the park entrance.
Due note 4: As for the
rest of California shore, during winter months, migrating gray whales are
visible from the viewpoints.
Due note 5: Your visit
here can be part of your highway 1 drive or as a few hours activity when you
are staying at Monterey.
My thoughts: Unfortunately,
I visit here only one time, we enjoy it very much, the view is indeed unique. My
problem with this park is that is always full of people and at weekends it
overpacked. So plan your visit to mid-week day and you might be OK.
Point Lobos is
a “the” destination for ocean cliffs viewing, the ocean clear blue water crashes
on the jagged cliffs and rocks below. You can spot sea otters, harbor seals,
sea lions and whales (in season), as well as pelicans and other shorebirds.
The reserve has
several excellent hiking trails that range from short and easy to more challenging
Try to find a
parking spot at Sea Lion Point parking lot (or if it is full at Piney Woods
picnic area) and take the Cypress Grove Trail (Blue). This hike is less than a mile
long on mostly easy terrain, it winds through one of the two naturally growing
stands of Monterey cypress trees remaining on Earth.
The trail loops
through cypress forest outlined by cliffs with dramatic and spectacular ocean
views of Headland Cove from your south.
Once you hike
the Cypress Grove Trail you can take the short trail to Sea Lion Point Trail (Perpule), go
up the stairs to the viewing point, and from there all the way on South Shore
Trail to the parking lot at the end of the road. this is 1.4-mile-long, easy
going, trail on the cliff edge.
From this, end
of the road, parking lot it is highly recommended to hike the Bird Island Trail (Orange),
viewing China cove from the north and Gibson Beach from the south.
You can also go
down the stairs to visit the sandy Gibson Beach.
place to visit is at Whalers Cabin Museum – I must admit I did not visit here
due to lack of time…
known as the Whalers Cabin was inhabited by Japanese and Chinese wale fishermen
beginning in the 1850s. The cabin has been restored to look as it did in the
1800s; and now it presents a history of the shore whaling industry on the