A haven for scuba divers, hikers, painters and photographers, Point Lobos State Reserve offers abundant wildlife, knockout vistas and picture-postcard picnic spots. Hailed as the “crown jewel of the State Park system”, Point Lobos is an essential item on your Monterey itinerary. The park's entrance can be found three miles south of Carmel on Highway One.
Hotels near Point Lobos State Reserve
European-style beach town Carmel-by-the-Sea is a great spot to base yourself when visiting Point Lobos as it's just five miles away from the park. The small town is known for its plethora of pet-friendly hotels and independent inns. There’s more accommodation at Monterey Bay, which is only 10 miles from the park and offers everything from cheap motels to five-star luxury hotels.
Diving in Point Lobos
Point Lobos is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Divers flock to the park for its rich marine life – think seals, sea otters and whales – and 70-foot-high kelp forests.
Hiking Trails in Point Lobos
Point Lobos State Reserve’s countless hiking trails offer everything from short strolls to epic treks. Many follow the shoreline, leading you to tucked-away coves, cypress groves and superb views of Pebble Beach and the Carmel coast.
Wildlife-Watching in Point Lobos State Reserve
From December to April, grey whales can be seen from the coast at Point Lobos, while orcas can be seen all year round. The ocean at Point Lobos is also home to sea lions, elephant seals, sea otters and harbour seals.
On land, visitors should keep a lookout for weasels, deer, badgers, bobcats and rabbits. The park also provides a home for the trickier-to-spot mountain lions, grey foxes, raccoons, coyotes, skunks and opossums, which tend to come out at night. Bird life includes red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, Turkey vultures and hummingbirds.
Other Attractions at Point Lobos
Point Lobos State Reserve was the centre of the whaling industry on the Monterey Peninsula during the 1800s. Learn about the industry by visiting the park's fascinating Whalers Cabin Museum. Used by Japanese and Chinese fishermen in the 1850s, the cabin has been restored to look just as it did in the mid-19th Century.