Make your own free website on Tripod.com


CALIFORNIA SPORTS PARADISE
Your portal to outdoor sports in California
CALIFORNIA'S MONTHLY ON-LINE MAGAZINE FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS

DAY HIKING
Northern Coast
Central Coast
Southern Coast
Northern Sierras
Southern Sierras
ROAD BIKING
Northern Coast
Central Coast
Southern Coast
Northern Sierras
Southern Sierras
MOUNTAIN BIKING
Northern Coast
Central Coast
Southern Coast
Northern Sierras
Southern Sierras
PADDLE SPORTS
Northern Coast
Central Coast
Southern Coast
Northern Sierras
Southern Sierras
SURFING
Northern Coast
Central Coast
Southern Coast
MONTHLY FEATURES
 
GENE'S GARAGE
What gear do I need?

BRIAN'S BODY-BAG
Safety tips

STAN'S STUFF
Editorials

ARCHIVES
Past featured articles

 
FEATURE ARTICLE

POINT LOBOS DAY HIKE

By Gene Raffanti

HOW TO GET THERE

Point Lobos State Reserve is located about 4 miles south of Carmel on State Highway 1 at the southern end of Carmel Bay. From San Francisco, take Highway 101 south approximately 2 hours to Prunedale. Then take Highway 152 west about 4 miles to southbound Highway 1. Carmel is about 25 minutes away on southbound Highway 1.

ABOUT POINT LOBOS

The Point Lobos area has been called "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world" by Landscape artist Francis McComas. With its rugged cliffs and sparkling blue waters, Point Lobos has long been a favored Hollywood location.

This wondrous area of misty cypress groves and crystal clear craggy coves carved out by the Pacific Ocean offers wonderful day hiking and easily ranks in the top ten of the most beautiful places on earth. There are several trails and a loop taking in the entire reserve would be about three to four miles. Many hikers park on Highway One and walk into the park avoiding entrance fees and extending the length of their hike.

The north side of the park has excellent views of Carmel and the surrounding Pebble Beach area. The tide pools in this reserve are outstanding with an amazing amount of active sea life for viewing, however hikers need to observe restricted areas.

This reserve allows scuba diving and Whalers Cove is famous for its 100 foot deep kelp forests. There are many sea otters, sea lions and sea birds that visit and inhabit the area. It's not uncommon to see a deer or fox enjoying the meadows or pine forests.

Allow enough time before starting your hike to visit the old Whaler's Cabin just above the parking area at Whaler's Cove. It is filled with interesting memorabilia and photos which give a glimpse as to what life was like in the area early in the century.

Unfortunately, Whaler's Cove and Whaler's Cabin are not mis-named. This area was a major staging area for 19th century whaling operations. Remnants of a whale's skeleton can be found lying near the cabin.

Docents are usually on duty so the cabin will be open and they should be able to answer any questions you may have.

Sports and Adventure Nikon Diplomat Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping Marmot. The North Face. Nike. SportingGoodsAtCost www.americanhotelnetwork.com www.bodytrends.com www.labody.com Join Free Now!
ENTER OUR
PHOTO CONTEST.
Win prizes!
HERE'S HOW

ENTER OUR
FEATURE ARTICLE
CONTEST.
Win prizes!
HERE'S HOW
THE HIKES

There are two hikes which we recommend. The first starts at Whaler's Cove and follows the rugged cliffs along the northern boundary of the reserve through wildflowers and cypress groves. There are many vista points along the trail which give spectacular overlooks onto the surging Pacific Ocean below and across the bay to the town of Carmel. These vistas are perfect spots for otter watching.

The trail emerges from the forest near Seal Rock where docents are also on duty and, if you're lucky, they may be exhibiting the furs of sea otters, sea lions, and harbor seals. No animals were harmed in acquiring these furs. They have been removed from animals which met a natural death. Seal Rock should probably be more aptly named Sea Lion Rock, as most of the animals we usually call seals are actually sea lions.

This is an EXCELLENT location for whale watching. The best times are around October and November when the California Gray Whales are making their annual migration south to Baja California where their young are born, or even better in February and March when they make the return trip to the coasts of Alaska to feed. On the return trip the mothers and babies swim closer to the shore as a defense against sharks. However, you may spot whales at other times of the year. It seems there are always a few stragglers in the bunch.

You may return to your car by the same trail you came in on, or you may find it more convenient to hike back along the road.

The second hike we recommend can actually be an extension of the first if you're ambitious and still feeling spry. Or you can drive your car over to the south end of the preserve and go from there.

Follow the trail up the cliff and to the south where you will see hidden beaches, rocky promontories, and a variety of sea life. This trail is not very long and neither of the two have steep climbs which last for more than a 100 feet or so.

You'll be given a map when you enter the reserve.
For further information you may contact the reserve headquarters at 831-624-4904.


DRAWBACKS:

The weather can be very fickle, with fog and sunshine alternating and the temperature changing as often as twice or more in an hour. You should bring clothing which can be layered and taken off or put back on as the temperature changes.

A WORD TO THE WISE...

Use extreme caution if you choose to go down to inspect the tide pools. The surf is unpredictable and each year on California's Central Coast several people lose their lives by being swept into the sea. Always observe posted warning signs and please stay out of restricted areas. These areas are posted either for preservation of the fragile habitat or for your own safety.

VARIATIONS:

If you prefer, you may park your car in the lot near Seal Rock and begin each hike from that point.

Also, in case you're interested, there is a lovely picnic area in the southern part of the reserve with tables, running water, and public restrooms.



CALIFORNIA SPORTS PARADISE
Your portal to outdoor sports in California
CALIFORNIA'S MONTHLY ON-LINE MAGAZINE FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS


We welcome your comments.
Letters to the Editor

OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Tripod Error [an error occurred while processing this directive]

404 - Page Not Found


Sorry, but the page or the file that you're looking for is not here.

Sponsors

Magic 21

Magic 21 -
Free card game. For each "21" you make, you could win up to $4,999 in cash! Go try your hand  »



[an error occurred while processing this directive]
WHO ARE WE?

Surfnwear

Premium performance underwear - www.wickers.com



Copyright 2000 by California Sports Paradise

All rights reserved
No portion hereof may be reproduced in any
manner without written permission of
California Sports Paradise

For any technical problems, please contact:
Calsports Webmaster