Point Lobos State Reserve
|Description: 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.|
Wildlife to Watch: More than 150 bird species. High probability of seeing shorebirds, sea otters, and harbor seals year-round; marine birds in spring and summer. Look for sea lions from August through May, gray whales from January to March. Occasional porpoises.
Carmelo Meadow offers glimpses of black-tailed deer, brush rabbits, and bobcats. Harbor seals, sea lions, southern sea otters, and California gray whales swim the waters off Sea Lion Point. The South Shore Trail leads past rocky inlets with killdeer, sandpipers, and black oystercatchers to the Bird Island Overlook, where the outer rocks shelter up to 2,000 nesting Brandt’s cormorants. Watch for southern sea otters and harbor seals at Whaler’s Cove, where divers can explore kelp beds, sea stars, and other marine life in an underwater ecological reserve.
Special Tips: Guided tours. DANGEROUS SURF. SEE DIVING REGULATIONS. NO COLLECTIING. WATCH FOR POISON OAK.
Ownership: California State Parks
Size: 1,304 acres
Closest Town: Carmel
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: