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“Great place to stop and take a short hike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Point Lobos State Reserve

Point Lobos State Reserve
Route 1, Box 62, Carmel, CA 93923
831 624 4909
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Ranked #1 of 28 Attractions in Carmel
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, State Parks, Beaches, Hiking Trails
Activities: Hiking, Viewing wildlife, Whale watching, Scuba diving, Walking, Birdwatching
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Watch whales in winter and sea lions all year round at this Bay Area nature reserve, which offers hiking, walking, bird watching, scuba diving and magnificent views.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
San Jose, California, United States
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great place to stop and take a short hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

The sights here are on par with anything else on the CA coast. I've been all the way up and down it, and though some places might be more famous (e.g. the 17 mile drive just a bit to the north) Point Lobos can't be beat for its sheer wild beauty. There's lots of wildlife in the area, plenty of hiking opportunities with well-worn trails and lookouts, and paved roads for easy access. Some of the trails are a bit steep and rocky, but others are easily accessible to anyone on foot. You can see a good portion of the area in an hour, but 2-3 would be better if you want to cover it. It's also apparently a great spot for scuba diving if you're into that, and they have some ramps where you can get in the water (saw some guys doing that this last visit).

It can get a bit chilly in winter or late afternoon, so dress warmly. The trails and points of interest are well documented and signs tell you how long and how strenuous the hikes are. Rangers and docents are on hand to answer questions.

Note: the signs said parking lot full, but there was plenty of space inside. I think they just don't bother to change them, because it probably usually IS full. Drive up and find out. On the flipside, if you don't mind walking a bit you can park on the side of the freeway and just walk in, which will save you $10 (there's no fee for walk-ins). However, this can add quite a bit to the hike. If you don't have much time or don't want to walk far, try to drive in.

Visited January 2014
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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
61 attraction reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Wonderful Views from each stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

You do need to pay $10 to get in the door, unless you park on US1 and walk into the park. We enjoyed a lovely sunset evening taking pictures and seeing pods of dolphins swimming. If you are hiker, there is much more to see but we were into photography and sunsets for this trip.

Visited January 2014
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Don't Pass This Place Up”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

I was on my way back to SFO after spending four days backpacking along the Big Sur coast. I'm a photographer and figured what could I possibly see at Point Lobos that I didn't see along Big Sur. I almost drove by, but figured for $10 I'd check it out. This place was amazing and I'm so glad I stopped. I pulled in at 1pm and left at 3pm and really felt like I needed another 2 or 3 hours to see the whole place. This was on a weekday and I had no problem parking, no wait at all. Plenty of seals, sea otters, even a blue whale. For photographers this place is a must and you could easily spend an entire day here.

Visited September 2013
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Port Aransas, Texas
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Great place to see mammals”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

We came here to see the seals, otters, and sea lions. We were not disappointed. They usually are a lot closer to the beach, but since there were SO many people there, they were out in the distance.
I strongly suggest you take a wide angle lens to get a good picture.
There are so many things to see; we saw some whales migrating which I wasn't expecting.
The trails are kind of steep, so they're not for everyone.
The day we went, 12/29, it was so crowded, even at sunset. Another place to take an awesome pictures. We saw some black deer when we were leaving.
I loved this place and it was great to see people from other countries enjoying what we sometimes take for granted.
The parking is $10, and you have to be patient. People were parking on the highway, which I'm glad we didn't. It was quite a journey for those walking it.

Visited December 2013
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
72 attraction reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Short walk or long hike ... Oh the views!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Whether you are looking for a short walk or a decent hike, this place offers absolutely fabulous views that really have to be seen to be believed. We arrived early and were glad we did as they start limiting cars when it gets busy so plan accordingly particularly on a nice day. The Whaler's Cabin is worth a stop and the short hike out to the cypress grove is a photographer's dream. $10 for a car and another $2 for a map and brochure. Worth every penny.

Visited December 2013
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