Point Lobos State Reserve
Location: South of Monterrey, California
Trails: Multiple flat, well-marked trails interconnect to form a network of hiking possibilities. All very easy. We walked the Sea Lion Point loop, then to China Cove and back, a distance of about 2.5 miles.
Access: From Carmel, drive 3 miles south on Hwy 1 and watch for the entrance sign on the right.
Maps: A free trail map is available upon entrance. Area is covered by USGS 1:24K Monterrey, though trails are not shown.
Fees: $8/car/day
Weather:   Current and recent conditions   Local Forecast

October 2004
While on our honeymoon along the incomparable central California coast, Andra and I spent several hours enjoying the rugged rocky ocean front at Point Lobos. We arrived under extremely foggy conditions, and I was hardly able to see the water from the trail that lead off from the Sea Lion Point parking area. Nevertheless, we donned our jackets against the cool October sea breeze, and walked west along the rocks, enjoying the placid sweep of glossy ocean waves. The fog was intense, and beautiful, but it didn't prevent the sonorious barks of sea lions from reaching our ears. Though we couldn't see them through the mist, we could hear that they were somewhere nearby, just offshore. The maps showed a series of rocky islands just beyond the point, and we concluded there must be dozens hanging out there. The weather seemed to deter most people from walking out very far, as we were alone on the barren rocky point looking out to a fog-shrouded ocean. We completed the loop back to the parking area, then decided to head south along the South Shoreline Trail, which lead past more of the same interesting rock-line coast. We made very slow progress, stopping every 20 feet to examine the martian-like critters flitting around in the tidepools. Eventually, we made it to China Cove, where the trail officially ended. We spent some time relaxing in the warm sun that was slowly emerging from the fog, then walked back to the car. 

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