Point Lobos is a Natural Treasure of California
I know when you come to Monterey you have a ton of things to see and do on your list. But something that should definitely be added to your list is spending at least a day exploring Point Lobos State Park. It is really one of California’s true Natural Treasures.
· Hiking at Point Lobos
Hiking at Point Lobos is a great way to spend a day and it’s really the only way to get around the park and see all the different parts of the park and all the different things Point Lobos has to offer. The trails can be anything from a paved road to a two to four foot wide smooth dirt trail all the way to a watch your step on those big rocks and don’t trip over that tree root kind of trail. So keep that in mind as you hike. The kids love those root and rock infested trails to climb over and around it just makes the day more fun for them. So don’t forget to pick up a trail map when you come into the park or you can just wing it and follow the markers it’s not really that hard.
What Should You Bring To Point Lobos
· A Good Attitude
· A Good Pair of Hiking Shoes or Boots
· Sunscreen Especially on Warm Sunny Days
· A Light Windbreaker Even on Warm Sunny Days The Weather Here Changes Frequently With The Fog And Wind Especially out on the More Exposed Points
· An Appreciation For The Outdoors This is one of California's Premier State Parks Please Appreciate and Treat it With Respect.
· Cameras and Binoculars You don’t need these things but to see things off in the distance and to have some memories of what you saw they just help out.
What To See At Point Lobos State Park
There are so many things to see at Point Lobos that you can definitely spend more than a day here easily. There are Rock formations, the huge rocks on the coast with the big holes or caves that go all the way through them are some of my favorites. Trees like the Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine Forest. Wildflowers like the Lupine and sage as well as many others. Animals like the Sea Otters and the Sea lions. Not to mention you can see Whales spouting just off the coast. If you are very lucky you may get to even see some deer in the park or a bobcat.
Whaler’s Cove and Whaler’s CabinWhalers Cove and Whalers Cabin which was the home of Monterey Whaling and Abalone operations so long ago. Hopefully if you come on a weekend the Whalers Cabin is usually open and a docent will be inside showing what is now a museum. It shows some of the different tools used for whaling and harvesting Abalone but also there is a display on all the movies that were filmed in Point Lobos over the years. There is also a display about the military that was stationed at
Point Lobos during World War II because the US Government feared attack by the Japanese from the Pacific Ocean.
A Nice Day Hike At Point LobosA nice day hike that I like to do at Point Lobos is from the park entrance take the Carmelo Meadow Trail to your right. This is a relatively short easy hike and this trail hooks up with the the North Shore Trail at Whaler’s Cove. Turn left when you get to the North Shore Trail you will be walking along Whaler’s Cove. Isn’t it beautiful here? As you walk along you will come to a small wooden cabin that is the Whaler’s cabin. Hopefully it’s open and you can see the displays inside. Continue along the North Shore Trail along all the inlets and little bays. Watch down in these small bays you will probably see Sea Lions and Sea Otters. The Sea Lions are usually laying on a rock in the sun or on the beach and they make a barking noise. So you will hear them from afar. The Sea Otters on the other hand will probably be in the water hooked into the seaweed preening themselves or just playing in the water or eating. Continue on this trail and eventually you will come to the Cypress Grove Trail up through the Allan Memorial Grove. Here is a good place to stop as there is a restroom and water and a kiosk to buy maps or sunscreen or other things you might want or need. If you are lucky you might find yourself in the middle of a docent led tour here. They are pretty good and you will learn a lot from them and the nice thing is this trail is a loop so if you get tired of staying with the group you can just continue on. Once you go out on the Cypress Grove Trail I like to take the loop counterclockwise so I take the left side. Now when you are above the water look down in that cove below you. You will probably see some
Sea Otters swimming in the middle. Now look out at the ocean about half way between the land and the horizon and closer than you think. Look for water blowing up in the air. If you see it there is a whale spouting and it will be pretty close. Now if you see one chances are there will be several and they only move about five miles per hour so you can watch for a long time and keep seeing them. However the best place to see them is at the end of the trail at a large outcropping where everyone sits and just watches the whales spout. Be careful here though there are no cables and it’s a long way down but the view is amazing. That is one of my favorite places in the whole park sitting on those rocks watching the whales spout.
Parking at Point Lobos
Parking at Point Lobos gives you really two options you can pay a few dollars and park in the Point Lobos parking lots which does get you a little closer to the attractions. Or the other option is you can park for free on the side of Hwy 1 and walk into the park not a bad way to save a few dollars and it’s what I usually do. Have fun and take lots of pictures. Let me know in the comments about your Point Lobos Trip.