Point Lobos Coastal Hike
May 1, 2010
Mikey's Moments > Point Lobos Coastal Hike
Today I feel like doing something a little different and further from home then I normally go. I have been meaning for some time now to check out the Point Lobos State Reserve near Carmel in California. I have been told about this place by a friend in work and it comes very highly recommended!
image

It is an hour and forty five minutes drive down Highway 101, over to Highway 1 and down to Point Lobos. I leave just after 6:00AM and am in the queue to get into the reserve at 7:45AM


image

It turns out the queue is for divers as they only allow a certain number of dives to happen each day at Whalers Cove. Anyways I head for a parking lot further out and am the first car there. I can already hear the waves crashing on the shore as I don my backpack and grab my camera


image

Here is a map of the reserve...


image

First off I explore the Cypress Grove and Sea Lion Trails - short loop trails at the parks most westerly point. They give me my first taste of the incredibly awesome scenery that typifies this park


image

Jagged cliffs rise up steeply from a churning white flecked sea of the deepest aquamarine and steel blue and are capped by groves of stately Monterey Pine and Monterey Cypress trees


image

The Pacific Ocean is always an awesome sight but on this part of the California coast it is often hard to find words to describe its sheer incredible power and majesty


image

As they say - a picture speaks a thousand words...


image

One thing is for sure - I would hate to be swimming in that water!


image

People come and go but the day to day life of the locals goes on as ever...


image

I continue my walk along the South Shore Trail. The cliffs start to drop as I head towards Weston Beach and the fury of the waves becomes even more pronounced


image

Looking down between two large rocks my eye is caught by something shiny so I take a photo of it. When I get home I find it is a gorgeous piece of shell floating serenely in a little tide pool!


image

In a small cove I snap a few photos of the incredible spray from the waves hitting the rocks...


image

A little further along the trail I take some more photos whilst doing my best not to wake this pair of sleeping beauties :)


image

Elsewhere there is plenty of life - this Canada Goose was sat on the clifftop disinterestedly watching a gaggle of photographers snapping the tide pools...


image

And of course the bees never get time to rest when there's honey to be made!


image

California Poppies were in bloom everywhere - here is a close-up of a couple of them...


image

And here is a whole bunch making for a gorgeous foreground to the backdrop of the cliffs and ocean


image

This Black-crowned Night Heron is one of the more interesting birds to be seen at Point Lobos


image

The glorious mix of colours in this shot was too hard to resist!


image

Further along the trail towards China Cove the California Poppies were again out in force - and with an even more dramatic backdrop!


image

From a little south of China Cove I take the South Plateau Trail which connects across to the northern coast of Point Lobos. The trail meanders through an enchanted forest draped with lace lichen which grows on many of the trees. In the midst of this wonderland I come across a bench which is perfectly placed for me to enjoy my lunch :)


image

Continuing on the Carmelo Meadow Trail I soon hit Whalers Cove on the north shore of Point Lobos. This is where divers are allowed to explore the side of Point Lobos that the rest of us can only imagine... This is a view of Coal Chute Point on the northern tip of Whalers Cove...


image

This beach is along Whalers Cove not long before the start of Coal Chute Point


image

Wandering along the trail I find this little chap enjoying himself in the morning sun - seems like a good decision to me!


image

Along the trail at Whalers Cove was a perfect spot to look down on a small colony of Harbor Seals. They seem to be enjoying the perfect life relaxing in the sun! A number of mothers were tenderly looking after their pups who seemed to be as mischievous as any other kids!


image

Harbor Seals


image

Harbor Seals


image

Harbor Seals


image

Harbor Seals


image

Harbor Seals


image

A couple of suspicious looking cormorants "just minding their own business"!


image

A beautiful view over the bay towards Carmel...


image

Turning from Whalers Cove I head back west on the North Shore Trail towards my starting point and enjoy another set of incredibly stunning views which keep my camera constantly in use! This one is looking at Big Dome


image

A radiant spring flower caught in the morning sun...


image

Yet another view of the sea - I just can't resist the depth of colour of the water!


image

Here's a California Quail perched amongst the lace lichen


image

And a final view of the Californian Pacific coast in action...
Powered by Phanfare