nature trips



kid friendly



no dogs

Deriving its name from the offshore rocks at Punta de los Lobos Marinos, Point of the Sea Wolves, where the sound of the sea lions carries inland, the reserve has often been called "the crown jewel of the State Park System." Point Lobos, located three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, has offered many things to millions of people who have visited it over the years. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging. In addition to the spectacular beauty, nearly every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. There are rare plant communities, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora and fauna of both land and sea. Respect the power of the ocean. Help avoid a disaster and keep at a safe distance. Remain on the designated trails within the wire guides, and stay away from the rocky cliffs. Rock climbing is absolutely prohibited. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows. The offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters and migrating gray whales (from December to May). Thousands of seabirds also make the reserve their home. Hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. The area used to be the home of a turn-of -the-century whaling and abalone industry. A small cabin built by Chinese fishermen from that era still remains at Whalers Cove and is now a cultural history museum. Reserve is open from 8am to 1/2 hour after sunset. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.

4 days ago

Quick and easy, but a must if you're visiting this park

Such a beautiful trail!

Incredible! Parked at the Cypress Grove parking lot and did the loop toward China Cove. Also, did the side excursion out to Granite Point and ended back at Cypress Grove (almost 8 miles). The crowds were pretty light as it was a Friday and had Granite Point all to ourselves. The flower bloom is incredible right now. I talked with one of the rangers and they said it hasn't been this good in years. Thank you rain! You can easily park on the street (if it's available) and walk in from there but I feel it's important to support our parks. This is a really well maintained park, however, the poison oak is heavy right now so be careful when passing on narrow trails.

10 days ago

Beautiful! Did the the loop starting at Whalers Cove parking lot which was perfect. I got the most elevation changes out of the way with fresh legs. I skipped Whalers Knoll (didn't seem terribly interesting), and apparently missed one turn off on the coast. Extraordinary views nonetheless! Park opens at 8am ($10 to park, $2 for a brochure). Get there early; space is limited and even as people start leaving, they aren't quick to remove the "Full" signs and let more in.

16 days ago

on Point Lobos Loop Trail

17 days ago