Asilomar, meaning “refuge by the sea,” offers park visitors the chance to explore the natural beauty of this coastal park and to learn of its colorful history as the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) conference grounds and summer camp designed by the renowned architect Julia Morgan. From the beginning, Asilomar has served as a retreat for those who wished to escape the pressures of an increasingly fast-paced world. Enhanced by the natural beauty surrounding the facility, Asilomar offers a peaceful oasis for educational and spiritual retreats, and a place for individuals and families to spend a quiet and relaxing time together. Located on the Monterey Peninsula in the city of Pacific Grove, Asilomar offers beach and coast trail walks, a short boardwalk loop through the natural dune preserve and overnight room lodging and conference facilities. From its historic architecture to the forest, the dunes and coastline, State Park staff takes the lead in protecting and educating park visitors to Asilomar and monitors the delicate balance between preservation and public access. Asilomar State Beach is a narrow one-mile strip of sandy beach and rocky coves. A walking trail is open to pedestrians. The trail is accessible and a beach wheelchair is available upon request. Across from Asilomar State Beach is the Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve. One of Asilomar's landmark stiles stands at the gateway to this preserve. A mile boardwalk meanders through the 25 acres of restored sand dune ecosystem. Discover the native plant greenhouse where more than 450,000 plants, representing 25 species have been grown and planted in the dunes and coastal bluffs. The boardwalk also leads park visitors to the Asilomar Conference Grounds. Asilomar originated as a woman's summer camp and conference facility out of the inspired vision of a handful of resourceful, socially-concerned and committed women of the YWCA in 1913. Its historic buildings were designed by California architect Julia Morgan. It has been owned and operated by State Parks since 1956. Vehicle parking and a bicycle lane is adjacent to the state beach on Sunset Drive. Asilomar State Beach is within the boundary of Asilomar Marine Reserve. All marine resources, animals and features are protected. No collecting or fishing is allowed.Dogs are permitted on the state beach but must be leashed at all times and in the immediate control of the handler. There are no restrooms or picnicking facilities on the state beach.
Nice walk on boardwalk and some spots for tide pools exploration and beach fun. Despite being labelled as an on-leash only beach (it is required by law and signage), some fools let their dogs off leash and without proper voice control. On two separate occasions during the same walk, I had to keep two dogs away from my dog, one I had to hold away by the collar and wait for its owner to retrieve it; and it was very frustrating. Despite that, my dog appeared to have a good time otherwise - we had to sometimes go on the boardwalk to avoid other off-leash dogs who were obviously not under voice control and owners weren't paying attention... So if you have a reactive dog, you may need to be on the lookout for irresponsible owners.
My dog Candy-Cane and I do the loop from Fishwife -- 17 mile drive -- Spanish Bay -- back almost to Asilomar. It isn't this exact trail that is mentioned but it's basically attached to it. It's probably my most favorite hike ever! There are big tress, the beautiful "Spanish Bay" golf course and of course the amazing beach! People do let there dogs off leash on the beach so be aware as some people let them come running down the trail like lunatics.
Brian C. on Asilomar State Beach and Coast Trail
Awesome views. Lots of whales.
Nice trail to walk, worth a stop if you are just wanting to stroll around or have children with you. Great for older folks who don't want to scramble over rock or obstacles. It is fun to watch the surfers in Spanish bay though! A lot of seals hang out on the rocks too and the tide pools aren't bad.