Point Lobos State Reserve is often referred to as “the crown jewel of California’s state park system”. It attracts over 300,000 visitors each year…and for good reason. The scenery is absolutely stunning. If your interested in outdoor photography, this is definitely a place for you. I didn’t have my DSLR camera with me, but I sure wish I had.
With very minimal time allowed, I did two of the hikes with in the reserve. I began one short hike at Whaler’s Cove, hiked up to Cannery Point, followed along the North Shore Trail and back to the road and parking lot via Cabin Trail.
The variety of vegetation found here is pretty amazing. I was particularly interested in the long, wispy moss like plants that were hanging off of the trees.
The trails are very well worn and easy to follow. The park system has wire cables in areas to keep you from getting too close to the edge and potentially falling a good distance. I did not have my young daughters with me on this trip, but I wish I had. The trails are short enough and easy enough that they would be a great hike for kids, plus there are so many interesting opportunities to stop, rest and look around that even young kids would have no problems completing the trails I explored. Just beware that you will probably want to hold their hands in a few locations. After finishing up my little loop, I got back into my vehicle and drove over towards the Cypress Grove. I easily found parking near the information center and began my second short hike on the Cypress Grove Trail. There were surprisingly few people around, which in hindsight shouldn’t have been so surprising. My trip began at 8:30 am on a weekday in September and I could certainly imagine how busy the place could be in the peak of the summer season. It’s funny how just this short little drive took me to an area that ecologically seemed so very different from the last.
Here’s a short video that really helps get across the atmosphere of the Reserve. Unfortunately, in the video you don’t hear the barking of the seals or sea lions but that added a whole extra level of enjoyment to this hike.
After concluding my second short hike, I unfortunately had to leave to catch a flight. I could have easily spent nearly the entire day exploring because I only saw a small percentage of the whole Reserve. On my slow drive to the exit of the reserve, I had one last unexpected surprise… Not the best photo, but as good as I could get from inside the vehicle.
Point Lobos Reserve is a place I would highly recommend to anyone in the area and I am certainly going back again, but next time with my family.