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Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

San Francisco...
posts: 6
Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

I'm proposing to my gf at Pt Lobos in mid Aug on a Saturday, and will be flying in some family for the surprise. I've never been to Lobos but my gf's best friend has, so they'll be exploring the park all day together.

I'll be reaching the park by 4:15/30 in the afternoon, unfortunately not any earlier. The plan is for me and the family to start on a trail half an hour before my gf and her friend, and then surprise her somewhere on it.

I realize parking will likely be very full, but I'm also hoping some people might start leaving by the time I get there. Does anyone have a map of the parking lots at Lobos? I can't find one and the rangers are nice but have just said I'll have to see what's available when I get there.

Cypress is the trail I had my heart set on, but I'm worried how long it would take us to walk there if we couldn't find nearby parking...so possibly as far out as highway 1.

Thanks for any advice! Hope to go to Bird Island no matter what though, because I have a picnic planned for afterward.

p.s. this is the best map I've found, and I thought maybe there is a parking lot wherever the WC initials appear, since those are public restrooms? At the minimum there must be a parking lot by the picnic areas, but I'm hoping there's more than just three lots.

Edited: 3:14 pm, July 27, 2013
Santa Clara...
posts: 7,841
reviews: 17
1. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

OMG... congrats!!! I am the resident sucker for proposals around here and Pt Lobos is a very special place indeed. I have to look at my map drawer at home and I am out and on my phone. But have you used Google map with the satellite layer or Google Earth? I am not sure which parking lot is closest but there are a bunch of spots along the South Coast Trail. The Whaler Cove one probably fills up early.

Really I think ANY of the turnouts at the coves are beautiful and proposal worthy. I am actually not a fan of bird island as a view due to it being covered in... well bird dung! I am a big fan of the North Cove trail. Beautiful scenery with intimate coves just a little ways in

I'll check back later and will help if none of the other folks have already done so.

Edited: 3:37 pm, July 27, 2013
San Francisco...
posts: 6
2. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

Hi! Thanks so much for the response and feedback. Yes I realize now Bird Island is not ideal...the map I have seems to indicate a parking lot near North Cove trail (natedonovanphotography.com/wp-content/upload…), and it looks pretty close the picnic area by Whalers Cove. I'll try Google Earth when I get home, that didn't occur to me!

Thanks so much! I realize the plan can sound a little ambitious to some folk, but as a group my friends, gf and I love surprises, so the challenge involves with this one makes it feel more exciting :). So I'm hoping we can pull it off!

Santa Clara...
posts: 7,841
reviews: 17
3. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

I just did it on my iPad and you can see all the spots along the South Coast Rd I was thinking about pretty clearly just on the satellite layer. The spots are not limited to the ones here marked " P" californiasbestbeaches.com/point_lobos/point…

You are probably right that folks will leave by the time you get there. The busiest times where it does fill is early afternoon. Worst comes to worst, you can just shuttle people in but I don't think you will need to do that.

Congrats again!

Edited: 4:30 pm, July 27, 2013
Santa Clara...
posts: 7,841
reviews: 17
4. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

... and you can "walk" it on street view too. How fun.

San Diego...
posts: 8,793
reviews: 30
5. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

Here's another map if you need it. …wordpress.com/2012/04/screen-shot-2012-04-0…

I believe there are 10 places to park, including 5 lots and 5 turnouts. The lots are ovals on the above map; the turnouts are black squares.

If you are on the Cypress Grove trail, maybe a good spot would be the point that overlooks Pinnacle Cove, about the halfway point of the trail. flickr.com/photos/…

If not there, then Sea Lion Point, just a little to the south, is treeless and would offer unobstructed views of the sunset.

Edited: 4:58 pm, July 27, 2013
Monterey Peninsula...
posts: 1,924
6. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

Unfortunately, the parking lot closest to the Cypress Grove trail is also the smallest lot in the park. On busy days it's usually full. Fortunately, the somewhat hidden Piney Woods lot not too far away, is larger, and typically is the least used lot in the park.

-Mr. Toy


San Francisco...
posts: 6
7. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

Thank you to everyone! This has been extremely helpful. :)

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 15,717
reviews: 8
8. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

Hope she says "YES"! :-)

San Francisco...
posts: 6
9. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

Hi folks! One last question, purely because you all have been so friendly and seem so knowledgeable! (my friend who's been to lobos was just there during early teens, so their memory is a bit foggy now).

I'll definitely be aiming for the proposal to take place either at North Shore or Cypress. I want to suggest a route for my gf and friend to take, as I think doing a random go of it could tire them out if they end up having to double back because of poor planning, and it just seems like a smart precaution to take.

I'm a little surprised how much ground other hikers seem to be able to cover when they discuss Lobos, so it makes me think it's a pretty easy area to hike around? But for instance I'm a little confused by people saying that the old Veteran tree is on the north shore trail, when this map (…wordpress.com/2012/04/screen-shot-2012-04-0…) has an "Old Veteran trail" that I'm assuming is the one with the tree?

So I don't want to make my own assumptions to how these trails link up to each other. If any of you have a series of hikes you like and can end at Cypress or North Shore (whichever one has that beautiful tree!), I'd be much obliged (more than I already am).

San Francisco...
posts: 6
10. Re: Point Lobos special day, cypress/bird island parking?

p.s. I didn't meant to say I want to end/have the proposal take place at the tree! I'd just like my gf to have the chance to see it, whether with her friend or with me. Which I realize must definitely be on the "old veteran trail".