June 5, 2016

The Highlights of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in Monterey, California

Updated December 27, 2017

When I first read about Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, I knew I had to visit. This stunning little hidden gem on the Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect quick stop on your road trip down Highway 1 – or the perfect place to escape the world for a few days if you have the time.

My brother and I only stopped for a short time at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve on our short trip down Highway 1 this May, but when we got there we wished we could have stayed for ten times as long.

The waters were so unbelievably blue, and there was simply no way for us to see everything that we wanted to in the hour that we had to spend there.

Point Lobos: The Highlights

With a practically minuscule amount of time, we knew that we wanted to hit all of the highlights. But we also didn’t want to rush ourselves. In the end, I think we did a pretty good job of exploring Point Lobos in the small amount of time that we had.

South Shore Trail

We started out on the South Shore Trail, following it along the coast and admiring it all. We loved watching the waves crash up against the rocks, and stood mesmerized for several minutes watching a small jet of water that blew through a crevice every time the waves made it high enough.

Rocks Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Coastline Sea Point Lobos State Natural Reserve California USA

By far the craziest thing about the entire experience, though, was just how mind-numbingly blue the water was. It’s true, I’ve seen blue water in my days, but I’d never seen anything like this. It was a deep, crystal clear blue, and it was easily the most entrancing thing that I’ve ever seen.

Flowers Sea Point Lobos State Natural Reserve California USA

Sand Hill Trail and The Slot

From the South Shore trail, we made our way along the Sand Hill trail to admire some more stunning blue waters and crazy rock formations.

Addie Point Lobos State Natural Reserve California USA

Moody Coastline Point Lobos State Natural Reserve California USA

Then we doubled back to where we had parked our car and further on towards “The Slot”. There, we were able to climb down closer towards the ocean and found some pretty cool little tide pools.

The whole time, I was taking a million pictures. And, as it seemed to be for most of our road trip, Connor was taking pictures of me taking pictures.

Addie Photographing Tidepool Point Lobos State Natural Reserve California USA

I dragged my feet as we returned the car, not ready to leave the place that I was so sure I was meant to spend the rest of my days. But we had about 50 more fish to fry that day and a ticket time for Hearst Castle that we didn’t want to miss.

Given the chance to return to Point Lobos, I would love to be able to explore the sections of forest further away from the shore. I’d also kill to spend more time simply staring out at the ocean and contemplating my existence, as I so enjoy doing.

If You Go

If you’re making a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway anytime soon, then be sure to bookmark this post. You’ll kick yourself if you realize you drove right past Point Lobos State Natural Reserve without stopping.

Sure, there are crazy blue waters all along Highway 1. But this place is a hidden gem, which means that you’ll have those crazy blue waters all to yourself (unlike, say, the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach).

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is open for day use from 8 am to 5 pm. Entrance is $10 per car.

Be sure to check out the trail map when you get there. If you only have a short amount of time, I highligh suggest the South Shore Trail, which offers a m a z i n g views over the ocean.

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