Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

UPDATE (Sept 17, 2020) - Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve has reopened for active recreation. Some walking trails are open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis. Social distancing protocols of maintaining a 6-ft distance and wearing masks is required.

As a reminder, Californians are encouraged to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. Everyone has the responsibility to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Park phone contact: (831) 624-4909

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Point Lobos State Natural Reserve:

What is open now?
  • Some walking trails are open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis.
  • Visitor services are limited to self-guided walks and mobile phone tours.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
  • Information Station and guided tours.
  • There is no campground at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Restrooms will be temporarily closed in order to keep up with cleaning schedules.
  • Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. Even though the department has increased access across the State Park System, the need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(831) 624-4909

Park Hours

Day Use Area:
8am - 7pm
Last entry at 6:30pm

Dogs Allowed?

No

Driving Directions to Point Lobos SNR

The reserve is located on the central coast of California in Monterey County. The entrance is located three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Nature & Wildlife Viewing

DOLAN FIRE - WHAT'S OPEN UPDATE

  • California State Parks has reopened Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Andrew Molera State Park for active recreation. Some walking trails are open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis. Social distancing protocols of maintaining a 6-ft distance and wearing masks are required.

  • Also opened is the Soberanes Canyon Trail in Garrapata State Park –located on the east side of Highway 1.  California State Parks continues to work to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved.

    Due to the Dolan Fire burning across the southern region of Monterey County, California State Parks urges the public to avoid traveling to impacted areas/park units in Monterey County due to safety and health concerns for any visitors. Air quality remains poor throughout the state.

    • Current Park Closures
      The following State Parks, including all campgrounds, day use areas, and hiking trails, are already closed due to fire and/or traffic concerns on Highway 1 in the greater vicinity of the Dolan Fire: 

      • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
      • John Little State Natural Reserve
      • Limekiln State Park
      • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
      • Point Sur State Historic Park

      California State Parks is asking for the public’s cooperation at this time when our state is severely impacted by the multiple fires burning throughout the state, including fires in Monterey County and in neighboring Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. Your assistance is appreciated!

      For additional information about the Dolan Fire, please see the below resources:

      Dolan Fire 
      California Interagency Incident Management Team 2 
      Incident E-mail:2020.Dolan@firenet.gov 
      Incident Website: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7018

     

Welcome to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

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. 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.

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.

Activities and Attractions
Guided Walks - Free public walks are offered daily. A schedule of guided walks for the month can be found HERE.  Private tours require advanced written application.

Whalers Cabin Museum - The museum is open from 9 A.M. until 5 P.M. daily.

Point Lobos Foundation - Additional information to plan your visit or learn more about the reserve can be found by going to the Point Lobos Foundation WEBSITE.

WHEN YOU VISIT ...

The following rules and regulations are for your own safety and to protect the plants and animals that live in the Reserve.

No Dogs
Dogs 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.

No Collecting

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.

No Camping
The reserve is strictly a Day Use facility and all visitors must exit by closing time.
 
No Drones

Discover Point Lobos APP

Discover Point Lobos – Is a Tablet App available at no cost to download from iTunes.

This app provides an interactive experience while you take a virtual walk and learn about the animals, plants and geological features that are found at Point Lobos.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
Fair sunny days, occasional winter rains, and dry summers, moderated by fog from July through September characterize central California's climate.

SCUBA Diving and Snorkeling

The Reserve extends off the coast to include the underwater world of the Point Lobos State Marine Reserve which can only be explored by certified divers. This is one of the richest marine habitats in California. Its animals and plants are fully protected by state law from any disturbance, and you are prohibited to get within 50ft of the marine mammals.

In the subdued light of the 70 foot-high kelp forests, divers can explore a world of vibrant color and an array of animals such as lingcod, rockfish, harbor seals and sea otters. 

Diving is permitted only at Whalers and Bluefish Coves. Proof of certification is required. Permission to dive is provided upon entering the Reserve. Reservations are recommended for the weekdays and are a must for weekends and holidays.
 Make Dive Reservations Here

Additional Visitor Services
  • Philip Sammet dba Under Water Company (Guided SCUBA dive tours)

NEW! Coloring Book

Click here for Marine Protected Areas Coloring Book