Day Use Area
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Driving Directions to Point Lobos SNR
Camping and Lodging
Online reservations are not available for this park.
Brochures and Campground Maps
No online brochures available for this park.
Upcoming Park Events
No events scheduled at this moment.
California State Parks advises visitors that it may close Point Lobos State Natural Reserve during and after storms. Closing the reserve will protect visitors and allow State Parks time to assess damage within the reserve.
Until further notice, the steps leading to China Cove are closed due to erosion.
SOBERANES FIRE INFORMATION
Areas of Garrapata State Park to Remain Closed
Soberanes Fire Information - Big Sur Area Parks
Updated September 30, 2016
Andrew Molera State Park
- Open: Day use west of Hwy 1 is now open except for the trail from the day use lot to the trail camp and the beach trail from the trail camp to the beach.
- Closed: Trail camp. Trail from the day use lot to the trail camp and the beach trail from the trail camp to the beach. Surfers pullout entrance. All lands east of Hwy 1 closed to public entry.
Garrapata State Park
- Open: Park lands west of highway 1 including Garrapata Beach is open
- Closed: All park lands east of Highway 1 closed to public entry.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
- Open: The western portion of the park, including the McWay Falls Trail is open. The two environmental campsites west of Highway 1 are open.
- Closed: All areas east of the parking lot are closed to public entry.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
- Open: Big Sur Lodge is open. More information: Big Sur Lodge. Buzzards Roost trail is open as it leads hikers west of highway 1.
- Closed: Park remains closed until further notice other than noted above.
Point Sur Light Station Historic State Park
- Open: Guided tours are available. More Information: Point Sur Lighthouse.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
- Open: Remains open
Welcome to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
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, the Reserve has often been called "the crown jewel of the State Park System". Point Lobos has offered many things to millions of people who have visited it over the years.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is outstanding for 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 and fauna of both land and sea.
Respect the power of the ocean. Help avoid a disaster and keep at a safe distance. Remain on the designated trails within the wire guides, and stay away from the rocky cliffs. Rock climbing is absolutely prohibited.
This area contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows. The offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters and migrating gray whales (from December to May). Thousands of seabirds also make the Reserve their home. Hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. The area used to be the home of a turn-of-the-century whaling and abalone industry. A small cabin built by Chinese fishermen from that era still remains at Whalers Cove and is now a cultural history museum.
Fair sunny days, occasional winter rains, and dry summers, moderated by fog from July through September characterize central California's climate.
Facilities - Activities
Guided Walks and Whalers Cabin Museum
A schedule of guided walks for the month is posted at the entrance station. The museums are open as staffing permits, generally from 9 A.M. until 5 P.M. Requests for nature walks, cabin tours, and slide programs led by rangers or docents for schools and private groups require advance written application.
SCUBA Diving and Snorkeling
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 for the weekdays and are a must for weekends and holidays.
Make Dive Reservations Here
Half of the reserve is all you see unless you're a diver and visit the underwater world just offshore. This is one of the richest marine habitats in California. Its animals and plants are fully protected by state law from any disturbance.
Divers explore a realm of beauty that, until this century, was inaccessible except to a handful of pioneers. In the subdued light of the 70 foot-high kelp forests, animals without backbones and plants without roots create a world of vibrant color. Lingcod, cabezone and rockfish swim in and out of view. The unexpected appearance of a seal, a sea otter, or whale quickens the heart. In 2014, a 3D Model of the Point Lobos State Marine Reserve was created to provide divers with landmarks to navigate the Reserve, and provide non-divers with a way to visualize the underwater wonders – without getting wet! The Point Lobos State Marine Reserve 3D Model is located near the parking lot by Whaler’s Cover. To learn more about this model and download a Map designed for divers, visit the Point Lobos Foundation website.
Monterey County Weekly story
KAZU audio story
Important Reserve Information
The following rules and regulations are for your own safety and to protect the plants and animals that live in the reserve.
Pets are not allowed anywhere within the reserve and cannot be left inside parked vehicles.
No Bikes on Trails
Bikes are prohibited on all trails in the reserve, but are welcome on the pavement.
Shells, rocks, wood, plants, animals and all features of the reserve are protected by law.
No Smoking or Fires
Smoking and fires of all types are prohibited.
Available Activities and Facilities at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Nature & Wildlife Viewing