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“Don't Miss This!!” 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
More attraction details
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
Frederick, Maryland, USA
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Don't Miss This!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2010

What a fantastic place to hike the trails, admire the trees and flowers, ooh and ah at the waves and beautiful color of the ocean, watch for otters, and gaze at sea lions. You could spend many hours here if you wished. Take a lunch or snacks; we did not see anything available. We went, as advised here, very early, as we had passed it on our way into Carmel the night before, and cars were parked along the street. If you do park there, I suppose you might avoid the $10 entry fee, but you will have a LONG walk to the trails that oversee the water. We saw very few people there by going early. Just a wonderful place. Don't pass this by!

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Santa Cruz, California
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“A wonderful day - can't wait to go back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2010

A day spent at Point Lobos is a reminder that this California coast is one of the most beautiful in the world! We took a picnic and then walked the trails for several hours. We have lived in northern California for over 30 years and this was our first visit to Point Lobos. We can't wait to go back!

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“Spectacular.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

This is the most amazing state reserve we've ever been to. The coastal walks are fantastic. The crashing waves (so large that people were "oohing and aahing"), the seals and birds...the hills behind you and then there are the beaches with otters frolicking just off of the shore. Trails go through the woods as well. There are a limited amount of parking spaces so arrive early and bring a picnic lunch as there are plenty of tables or other places to sit and eat. Highly recommended.

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Los Angeles
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery, breathtaking views, a great day outdoors!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2009

My in laws from Germany were vising California, and my wife and I thought we'd take them up north to Monterey and Carmel. On our last day we decided to go for a hike in Point Lobos - it was a great experience, even if it was just for a day. The scenery was just beautiful, and we thought we were not too lucky with the weather at first. We went up to Monterey in March/April, and mornings were usually foggy/cloudy with some drizzle. It cleared up towards early afternoon, and it was just gorgeous. There are various trails you can visit, and the park rangers are friendly and provide you with a nice map of the state reserve and helpful tips. We got lucky and even got to see sea lions and deer living in the forest over there. It's a great experience and we're already planning our next trip to Carmel. Point Lobos won't disappoint. Just make sure you bring good walking shoes and wear layered clothes - it was freezing/windy in the morning, and really warm in the afternoon.

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Catlin, Illinois
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
268 helpful votes 268 helpful votes
“A Foggy Afternoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

I became concerned driving down to Point Lobos when I saw Carmel Bay fogged in. We drove on to the entrance and I asked the ranger if the heavy fog would make our visit worth it. In other words, will we be able to see anything?
The ranger told us that we would be able to see inthe park, but that our views along the coast might be limited.
Since this is our first visit and our time limited, where should we go, I asked. The ranger suggested 2 spots, the Cyprus Grove Trail and the Bird Island trail. We thanked him and drove on to our first stop.
The Cyprus Grove trail is like walking into another world. The strangely shaped cyprus trees, some covered in white or red, and the fog hugging the shoreline just increased the unworldly feeling. We could hear the ocean and sometime the fog would part for us to see the rocks and the surf. I have never experinced anything like this before.
From Cyprus Grove we drove down to the Bird Island trail. Entirely different. The fog was off shore at this end of the reserve. From the parking lot there are some stairs to walk up and a walk around a hill and suprise, China Cove and its beach. Farther down the trail are great views of the coast and finally Bird Island.
On our way out we stopped to see the ranger. We told him we had a great visit. My wife asked him why bird island was white. He asked where we were from and we told him Illinois. He went on to tell my wife that along the shore that all of the birds will find one large rock to live on. The reason the rock is white is bird poop.
We are glad we stopped at Point Lobos. It was everyting we were told it would be and more.

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