Point Lobos Loop Trail

EASY 712 reviews

Point Lobos Loop Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily 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: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 741 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

fee

no dogs

Please note, users have reported that the path out to sea lion point is closed, but you can still see the sea lions from other points along the trail. There is limited parking and a $10 fee. 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.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful trail. Easy terrain with stunning ocean views. Great wildlife spotting- numerous seals, otters, and birds. Interesting whaling museum.

hiking
12 days ago

beautiful

walking
15 days ago

Views are beautiful but the crowds/people ruined it and to be honest far better views can be had along the coast. We got out by Sea Lion point and walked a bit but decided to move on.Very easy walking.

hiking
18 days ago

Great views, accessible for all skill levels.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful scenery, for the portion (which is most) of the trail that borders the water. The loop is less than 5 miles unless you do all the deviations. It’s easy with a few rocky inclines.

hiking
fee
22 days ago

Beautiful! Stunning views, level walkways that were friendly for all hiking abilities. If you do this hike, it’s prettier than the 17 mile drive and save yourself some time to enjoy the views.

Très belle randonnée. Sentier bien marqué. Nous avons fait toute la boucle en 4h environ en prenant notre temps pour prendre plein de photos. Nous avons vu plusieurs phoques. La partie au sud qui donne sur l'océan est vraiment magique. Nous sommes arrivés tôt (avant 9h) ce qui nous a permis de nous garer sans problème et de profiter un peu des sentiers avant l'arrivée du monde. L'accès en voiture coûte 10 dollars mais ce n'est pas cher payé pour une réserve aussi bien entretenue !

hiking
fee
muddy
over grown
rocky
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning trail, with a wide variety of scenery. We parked at Whaler's Cove and did the entire circuit, making it back just before the 5PM close. You'd be hard pressed to pack more of the area's typical scenery into a few hour hike anywhere nearby.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous!!

hiking
1 month ago

Wow. This place cant be better than what it is. It was such a beautiful and relaxing trail.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Definitely on the moderate-easy side just because of the somewhat rocky scramble to get to the viewing points. There are plenty of places you can drive to but you will have to pay the park fee.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing loop. Doesn’t feel as long as it is because the scenery is so beautiful. I recommend going as early as possible.

hiking
bugs
closed
fee
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty and easy and great shoreline.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is very easy and well-marked with bathrooms throughout. All trails lead to nice views, and there is a diversity of things to experience. From the cove to the tide pools to the various beaches along the loop-there is much to see. Parking was the only issue, but extra walking is a small price to pay.

hiking
3 months ago

Second time walking this trail, and it was just as beautiful! Very mild with great oceanic views!

hiking
3 months ago

A stunning and beautiful day to hike along the coast of Point Lobos State National Reserve! Not many wildflowers to see this time of the year, though I did see some seaside painted cup, seaside daisy and coast Tarweed. In abundance was California sagebrush, coyote brush, mock Heather, coffeeberry, blue blossom and way too much poison oak! Various indigenous trees known to the area were; Monterey Cypress, Monterey Pine and coastal live Oak. Many of the beautiful Monterey cypress were clinging to cliffs above the surf and though unfortunate to see some were dead, it was fascinating to see up close the red algae which is more of a fluorescent orange color that covered the tree. As you hike near sea lion point, the raucous residents “the sea lion” known well to the park are heard but unfortunately hard to see because they are rather far off the coast. However, lucky me, I did catch a glimpse through my binoculars a sea otter floating on his/her back in the kelp beds. It is so unfortunate to learn that the sea otters are driven to the brink of extinction by the end of the nineteenth century. Last, the almost extinct California condor with a wing span of 9 ft or more, graceful and majestic presented a up close personal 5 min show for my eyes only, turned out to be the highlight to my fun and solo trip!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views of the ocean

hiking
3 months ago

Point Lobos Loop has been on our bucket list since my husband and I moved to Monterey 3 months ago, and it exceeded all expectations! Very scenic, mild hike with some of the most beautiful views we’ve seen. The hike estimates 6.5 miles in length, we did the entire loop in about 5.0 miles. HIGHLY recommend arriving early - we got to the park around 8:30am and had no trouble parking, but after a few hours the trails, especially the most popular vistas, were quite crowded.

a bit on the moderate side of easy. if you do the whole trail it has quite a bit of elevation and steps that might be tough for some.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

A must to do if anything go to whalers cove so beautiful and peaceful . Climb the steps to the top and do the trail to the left . There is a slight incline to go to the top but just do it it is amazing . Wear sturdy shoes since the steps are a little sandy . Bring water and take lots of pictures

hiking
3 months ago

I would recommend this hike to anyone looking for an easy walk with beautiful views. Has a good mix of forest and beach pathways.

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