Just south of Monterey, California, lies Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. As I followed the trails along the shore, I found myself constantly taking pictures of the gorgeous scenery. I switched between wide angle and zoom lenses so often that I ended up with a routine of taking wide angle photos while walking one direction and close-up photos on the return hikes. The pictures here are displayed in the order that I took them, as I made my way from Whalers Cove to China Cove. You can follow my route by viewing a map of the park here.
My first stop at Point Lobos was on the north end, at Whalers Cove. I initially liked this area, but soon found that the other coves far exceeded this one.
I made my way up a hill on the North Shore Trail, walked along the Cabin Trail briefly, then caught this view when heading back to the Whalers Cove parking lot. While I ended up walking most of the way along the shore, I did move my car to different parking lots along the way so that I wouldn’t stray too far in case I decided to call it a day.
Every few steps along the path provided a new perspective, and I was soon glad I set aside plenty of time to explore Point Lobos.
While it was always tempting to look out towards the ocean, I occasionally looked inland and didn’t regret it. Trees and rock formations filled much of the interior of the peninsula.
Sea Lion Cove was certainly one of the busier areas of the reserve. I did not see any sea lions here, but I could hear them in the distance.
As I traveled the Sand Hill Trail and South Shore Trail, the mountains in the distance provided the perfect backdrop for my walk.
Though the coves at Point Lobos are numerous, each one is unique and offers spectacular new views.
The bluest water filled China Cove. A trail led down to the beach there, but it was blocked off when I visited. Perhaps one day the trail will be re-opened and I will visit the idyllic beach.
One of my favorite parts of the reserve was the area around Bird Island. Here at the southern end of the park, I came across natural arches like this one.
Gibson Beach, unlike the beach in China Cove, was accessible during my visit, though winds and cool temperatures kept most visitors from staying on the beach long.
Of course, the viwes are even better in person, so I hope this glimpse into the park motivates you to stop by on your next visit to central California.