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Point Lobos Oceanfront

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Point Lobos

There is no better way to start your Big Sur experience than visiting Point Lobos State Reserve. This wonderful place has a lot of magnificent sited to discover and deserves at least half a day of your time. Even then return visits will bring new exciting nature and wildlife discoveries as the seasons change at this knobby outcropping.

This area is one of the most beloved Hollywood film sites, with 46 movies or parts of the movies filmed in or near the area, including Valley of the Moon, Treasure Island, Rebecca, the Graduate and a lot more.

Established in 1933, this beautiful reserve now occupies more than 1,300 acres, the majority of which is underwater. The biological richness if this site is impressive, with over 250 different animal and bird species and over 358 plant species found there. Point Lobos contains headlands, coves and meadows with bountiful wildlife viewing of seals, sea lions, sea otters and migrating gray whales. Thousands of seabirds also make the reserve their home.

But you won’t need figures to realize the diversity of animal and plant life here. Just take a walk out by Whalers Cove, step up to Cannery Point and look around. You will spot sea lions frolic offshore and snooze on the rocks. Below you will see harbor seals gazing up and up in the sky plenty of birds calling. Surf scoters are diving, western grebes are swimming while Brandt’s cormorants are flying around. Famous for its underwater living treasures, this are lures scuba divers from all over the world every day of the year. If you are not a diver, you still will be able to see the profusion of fish, sea stars, anemones and crabs swimming in these clear waters.

Hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. Vegetation here is represented by Monterey pines and Monterey cypress trees, as well as shrubs such as blue blossom, bush monkeyflower, California sagebrush, lizard tail, and poison oak. The diversity of spring wildflowers is really impressive, especially on the bluffs around Granite Trail.

Point Lobos Photo

Point Lobos is also famous for its Cypress Grove which is one of only two naturally occurring stands of Monterey cypress in the world. Views of rocky coves and offshore islands from the trail are wonderful. Blue-green water, floating kelp beds, and crashing surf create spectacular scenes you can enjoy here. But the real attraction is the wonderful cypress trees, with their limbs twisted and dense crowns flattened by gale-force winds.

As great part of Point Lobos Reserve is underwater, so the optimal way to explore it is, of course, diving. There, underwater, swaying back and forth inside the kelp forest, you are truly in another world. Just fancy a sea lion darting out straight at you and then turning back in the last moment as if performing these maneuvers personally for you. All these can take your breath away. 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 and rockfish swim in and out of view. The unexpected appearance of a seal, a sea otter, or whale adds thrill and quickens the heart.

The offshore rocks at Punta de los Lobos Marinos, Point of the Sea Wolves, where the sound of the sea lions can be heard at what many consider "the crown jewel of the State Park System", gave rise to the name, Point Lobos.

Point Lobos State Reserve is outstanding place for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, scuba diving, and jogging. Besides boasting 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.