Point Lobos Loop Trail

EASY 258 reviews

Point Lobos Loop Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1040 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Sea lions, shore birds and more share this gorgeous chunk of Pacific Coast south of Carmel, California You can cram all the charms of California's amazing coastline into one stop at Point Lobos State Reserve, about 100 miles south of San Francisco. It's all there at Point Lobos: crashing waves, barking sea lions, chattering shorebirds, sun-bathing sea otters, remarkable rock formations. Granted, you get a few nibbles of this anywhere along California Highway 1, but why not save your appetite for the whole feast? Point Lobos has a network of well-maintained trails, but it's not really a hiking destination. Better to just find a place to park, find a trail, walk toward the sound of the ocean and enjoy the scenery. Best time to go: September, when the summer heat is easing and the coast is less foggy. The rest of the year will do, however. Park authorities limit the number of cars allowed in Point Lobos, so you might have to leave the car outside the park on Highway 1 and walk in. This'll add about two miles of walking to your outing.

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hiking
7 days ago

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.

hiking
9 days ago

walking
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.

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