|Point Lobos State Reserve|
Named for the “sea wolves,” or sea lions that haul out the offshore rocks, this rugged point features meadows, forested headlands, sheltered coves, rocky tidepools, and beaches. The Cypress grove Trail passes mounded dusky woodrat houses as it weaves through a world-famous Monterey cypress grove.
Pismo State Beach
|Description: This site features California’s most extensive coastal sand dunes. Butterflies are abundant November through March. Eucalyptus trees here shelter the nation’s largest population of wintering monarch butterflies. Some years, nearly 200,000 monarchs cluster on trees at the North Beach Campground.|
Wildlife to Watch: There is a high probability of seeing shorebirds and songbirds year-round. Look for birds of prey year-round, bald eagles in winter. Waterfowl and marine birds are also common in winter.
Trails through the dune preserve reveal the tracks of lizards, mice, black-tailed jackrabbits, bobcats, and coyotes. Also found here is a showy plant, the giant coreopsis. Beavers reside in Meadow creek, which widens into a lagoon favored by waterfowl. They are best viewed at dawn and dusk. Fifty bird species may be seen here, including yellow-rumped warblers, marsh wrens, and black-crowned night herons. Shorebirds follow beach tides, searching for pismo clams. Offshore waters reveal resident harbor seals and southern sea otters; during winter, watch for humpback whales, endangered California gray whales, and thousands of sooty shearwaters, a marine bird. Other endangered visitors include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and California least terns.
Special Tips: Restaurant on Site.
DUNE VEGETATION IS FRAGILE.
Ownership: California State Parks
Size: 1,090 acres
Closest Town: Pismo Beach, Grover Beach
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: