Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
       

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Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging.
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Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Welcome to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve


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. 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 has offered many things to millions of people who have visited it over the years.

This area 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.

More commonly known as Point Lobos, this beautiful stretch of coast is located just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, along the north end of Big Sur. A local engineer, Alexander Allen, purchased a large part of the land in 1933 to prevent its development, which has allowed the longstanding wildlife protection and seascape to remain well-preserved and open today for your visit.

Bring your hiking shoes and explore the trails that follow the ocean and remember to enjoy the fresh, salty, pine scented air. There are also a few beaches that are simply peaceful and relaxing, as well ideal for scuba diving! Visit the whaling museum and see the historic building once used by local fisherman, or go kayaking or swimming to get more acquainted with the marine life – sometimes you’ll see sea otters floating on their backs as you pass them by!


Best trails in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, California

Looking for a great trail in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, California? AllTrails has 10 great hiking trails, walking trails, wildlife trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 7 easy trails in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve ranging from 0.8 to 2.9 miles and from 26 to 124 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description
Point Lobos State Reserve, three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, is a great place for sightseeing, scuba diving, trail running, and viewing geological sites, plants, and animals like harbor seals, sea lions, seabirds, gray whales, and sea otters. There are no pets, bikes, fires, rock climbing, or camping allowed. The reserve has sometimes been called "the crown jewel" of the state park system due to the headlands, view of Monterey Bay and the pacific, coves, meadows, hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. The area also has historical significance as a hun of the turn-of -the-century whaling and abalone industry. A small cabin built by Chinese fishermen at Whalers Cove is now a cultural history museum you can visit.


The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.

1) Point Lobos Loop Trail

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 rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.


2) Point Lobos South Shore Trail

Point Lobos South Shore Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Carmel, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and nature trips and is accessible year-round.


3) South Plateau Trail to Bird Island

South Plateau Trail to Bird Island is a 1.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.


4) Cypress Grove Trail

Cypress Grove Trail is a 0.8 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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.


5) Cypress Grove Trail via South Shore Trail

Cypress Grove Trail via South Shore Trail is a 1.7 mile loop trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options.


6) Lace Lichen, North Shore, and Cannery Point Trail

Lace Lichen, North Shore, and Cannery Point Trail is a 2.9 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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.


7) Bird Island Trail

Bird Island Trail is a 0.8 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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.


8) Bird Island, South Plateau Trail, and Mound Meadow Trail Loop

Bird Island, South Plateau Trail, and Mound Meadow Trail Loop is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Carmel, 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.


9) Moss Cove Trail

Moss Cove Trail is a 2.8 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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.


10) Sea Lion Point Trail 

Sea Lion Point Trail is a 0.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Carmel, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.


Questions?

This website contains a wealth of information to help you plan your visit. See Where to Get Help to find out where to get assistance when you are in the Reserve. You may contact Point Lobos at 831-624-4909 (TTY relay service, 711) or E-mail us when you have inquiries. Please leave a message if your call goes to voicemail. The mailing address for Point Lobos Foundation is PO Box 221789, Carmel, CA 93922.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging.

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