- the arts
- general info
- point lobos foundation
- trail maps
- diving area
- bird island trail
- carmelo meadow trail
- cypress grove trail
- granite point trail
- lace lichen trail
- moss cove
- mound meadow trail
- north shore trail
- pine ridge trail
- sand hill trail
- sea lion point trail
- south plateau trail
- south shore trail
- whaler's cabin
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- become a volunteer
- point lobos magazines
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- Summer Adventures
- rules and regulations
Deriving its name from the offshore rocks at Punta de los Lobos Marinos, Point of the Sea Wolves, where the sound of the sea lions carries inland, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve has often been called "the crown jewel of the State Park System." Offering many things to millions of people who have visited it over the years. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve has outstanding passive recreation values, such as sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging. In addition to the spectacular beauty, nearly every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. There are rare plant communities, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora an fauna of both land and sea.
Fair sunny days, occasional winter rains, and dry summers, moderated by fog from July through September, characterize central California's climate.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is located on the central coast of California in Monterey County. The entrance is three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1.
Hours: Open 8 a.m. - ½ hour after sunset.
If you park outside Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and walk in, you still must exit the premises by the posted closing times.
10/9/13: Please note that, until further notice, China Cove is closed due to safety issues with the staircase.
A charge is made for each vehicle.
- Passenger cars: $10.00; vehicle with a senior citizen: $9.00; with disabled discount card $5.00
- Small coach or van: $50.00 (10 to 25 passengers); large bus $100.00
- Annual Day Use Pass: $195.00 (pass valid for one year from date of purchase).
- Suggested donation per walk-in visitor: $1.00 - $2.00 (donations benefit the Point Lobos Foundation)
When the Reserve is Full
Visitors may wait in line to enter on a one-vehicle out, one-vehicle in basis regardless of previously scheduled walks or prior entrance that day.
Vehicles over 20 feet may enter Point Lobos State Natural Reserve when traffic is light, but not during weekends, school vacations, holidays, or during the summer from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Trailers or motorhomes towing vehicles are not allowed, and the number of buses per day is limited.
Diving (SCUBA, Snorkeling and Kayaking)
Diving is permitted only at Whalers and Bluefish Coves. Proof of certification is required. Permission to dive is given when entering the Reserve. Reservations are recommended and a must for weekends and holidays. Reservations can be made online or by telephoning (831) 624-8413. Please view the dive regulations before making a reservation.
Guided Walks and Whalers Cabin Museum
A schedule of guided walks for the month is posted at the entrance station. The Whalers Cabin Museum is open as staffing permits, generally from 9am until 5pm. Requests for nature walks, tours, and slide programs led by rangers or docents for schools and private groups require advance written application. Guided walks typically occur between 10am and 3pm.
Further information can be found at the California State Parks site.
An Information Station at the Sea Lion Point parking area is staffed by docents from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. Feel free to telephone (831) 624-4909 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you have inquiries.
Visitors with disabilities should contact the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve office to inquire about accessible features to determine if they meet their specific needs.