Point Lobos
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Home to a rich marine habitat, this nature reserve is popular for both whale-watching (in winter) and spotting sea lions (all year round). With amazing natural landscapes, it's great for hiking along the ocean or simply strolling around and taking in the magnificent rocky coastline lined with rare Monterey cypress trees. If you’re into water activities, go kayaking or even scuba diving among 70-foot-high kelp forests and diverse marine life. Parking spaces are limited, so get there in the early morning to grab a spot. Otherwise, sign up for a guided tour that will take you straight into the reserve. – Tripadvisor
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience Point Lobos and nearby attractions

The area
Address
See what travellers are saying
  • Lacey
    Akron, Ohio25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful hike - our trail recommendations
    This was the highlight of our California vacation and our favorite hike ever. Go in the morning to ensure a parking spot, and to experience the trails without too many crowds. We hiked the Cypress Grove, Sea Lion Point, South Shore, and Bird Island trails, which was about 4.5-5 miles, and took about 3-3.5 hours. I recommend this combination of hikes for scenic, oceanside views and some wildlife spotting. It was somewhat confusing to us about what exactly to hike and how long it would take, so I hope this is a good recommendation for future visitors.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 28 June 2023
  • Debbie F
    Layton, Utah72 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The MUST SEE spot in the Monterey/Carmel area!!
    I have been to the Monterey area several times and this past trip just barely learned about Point Lobos. It is absolutely incredible!! I can’t wait to go back! It’s gorgeous! The whole area is kept in its original state and is utterly remarkable!! Make sure you go on the cypress grove trail and the bird island, China grove trail! And it will be worth a stop by the whaling cabins to see and touch actual whale bones from whales that washed ashore. Bird Island will give you access to many cormorants and their nests with baby chicks! Go early in the morning to secure a parking spot! The trails are short and easily doable with small children. Take binoculars for an even better view of the wildlife and landscape!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 July 2023
  • TheCollegeInvestor
    San Diego, California23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easy and fun family hikes
    Our family had a blast on two short hikes in the park. We went at 3pm and enjoyed hiking the Cypress Grove Trail and Sea Lion Point trail. Both are easy, take about 20-30min to each. The Cypress Grove trail goes right along the cliffs and the kids loved it.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 July 2023
  • coyote608
    149 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The MUST-DO Activity in Carmel
    We enjoyed every minute hiking the trails and touring the whaler's cottage. What a gorgeous location. I took a million pictures. We saw lots of deer, a bunny, and seals. The trails are not overly challenging or steep. The views are just stunning.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 26 July 2023
  • Ali Z
    Santa Rosa, California191 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the entry fee
    This park is made for hiking. Wonderful trails, most easy to moderate. Tons of views, especially along to coast even a drive through with a couple of stops us worth it. Get there early, as they really control the number of cars let in. And don’t bring any pets. You’ll be turned away as this is a nature preserve. Bring a picnic and enjoy.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Waddler
    York, United Kingdom11,526 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Short walks with great pay offs
    We came twice. Once we came at 4pm on a Thursday and parked by the Bird Island trail - there were a couple of spots in the Bird Island car park but quite a few additional spots a short walk further up the road. The Bird Island trail is short but takes you past the gorgeous China Beach with its turquoise water (when sunny), sea lions and kelp. You then continue to gorgeous Gibson beach which you can go down to. Sand is white but quite coarse. You then continue on to Bird Island views of...well...loads of birds. Keep an eye out for sea otters, we saw them in two locations. We then came back on another day on a foggy morning for tide pooling at Weston Beach (which was good despite it being mid-tide) and the Sea Lion trail. Perhaps less attractive, it is still scenic and there were rangers with telescopes at the point to help you see the sea otters and sea lions. Parking was fine at Weston Beach at 9am on a Friday, but by the time we got to Sea Lion point car park at 10am it was full but we parked in the next car park down and walked up. Overall, love this state park.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 September 2023
  • D D
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome views
    Always a treat! Great place to walk and see the ocean. Bring binoculars and wear long pants. It has lots of poison oak. We know all the places to see otters and sea lions. Parking can get tricky so it's best to go on a weekday.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 October 2023
  • Emily B
    London, United Kingdom13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful spot with lots of different wildlife
    Such a great spot, we followed a good trail around a large area and saw all sorts of wild life. Several different seals, sea otters, dolphins, a deer. There were some park guides at one spot who had telescopes we could look through too. Parking a little tricky but we were lucky and got a spot on the road pretty close to the entrance as the park itself was full.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 November 2023
  • Stellan D
    Bromma, Sweden565 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful costal area
    This is a beautiful part of the coast south of Carmel. Lots of bird activity at Bird Island to the south, caves and tunnels in the rocks near there as well as cypress trees to the North. Be aware that there is limited parking spaces in the park and during week-ends a lot of people end up parking along Hwy 1 and walk into the park.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 November 2023
  • Timothy K
    Chicago, Illinois294 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful coast line
    WE went to see the sea lions and stayed to watch the sea and he rocks and the varied coastline. It i beautiful there. the Sea Lions were pretty far out on n island that you could tel they were there but not see individuals. there are nice walks out to the coastline, up on the cliffs, and you should probably buy a map if going off on some as it is not clear how the return from just the signage. .There is admission per car.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles4,885 reviews
Excellent
4,378
Very good
423
Average
54
Poor
17
Terrible
13

Katherine R
Allentown, PA10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
A must if in the area. We came in the morning when the parking lot was open. It fills up so if you do not get there first thing then you can park on the highway and. Entrance was $10 for parking was well worth it, all day. We started our morning and spent 2 1/2 hours, To see it again, we spent 3 1/2 more hours in the afternoon. The scenery is breathtaking and the wildlife is unbelievable.
Written 14 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tania T
São Paulo, SP66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
This is the place where you need a full day to see all beautifull landscape there. There are some hinking but you find some restrooms, a coffeeshop and a lot of park space.
Written 31 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Designer-at-Large
California287 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Dramatic shoreline, easy to slightly challenging hiking within rugged natural park. Meadows and small hills, picnic tables scattered and vista view benches. Historical whalers cove exhibit is worth a visit. Several early movies were filmed here back in the heyday, including silent films. A thriving abalone industry, fished to beat extinction. Pt Lobos is a favorite for photographers and painters. Ansel Adams photographed the unique rocks.
Written 31 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BushkaTexas
Texas565 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
WOW! This state park is definitely worth visiting. We were there on a Friday afternoon so we had no problem parking at the different stops we wanted to explore in the park. Have a jacket and good shoes to hike the various trails down to the ocean front. Beautiful trees that only grow here. We saw humpback whales in the distance, sea lions and seals in the water and various birds. Just breathtaking. We did a few of the hikes. Plan for about 2 hours here.
Written 26 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Holy moly this place felt like Narnia or some magical fairy tale land. We saw so many adorable marine mammals. Lots of sea otters and my absolute favorite the newborn harbor seals. Lots of poison oak and the crowds started to form mid day. Bring water and nice shoes
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bart C
Foster City, CA472 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Point Lobos is one of the world's beauty spots, and if you've never even been, you very likely have already seen iconic photos of its features. Gorgeous scenery, cliffs, rocks, caves, sculptural trees, wildflowers, birds, seals, and ocean waters of many saturated colors. Bring your camera or your paints, because this place warrants it. The hiking isn't really hard, but despite some trails supposedly accessible, I did witness a wheelchair mishap. They do charge for entry and parking is extremely limited, while many people want to get in here. Just be VERY aware of all the poison oak and stay on the paths, not just to preserve nature in so popular a spot, but to avoid the noxious plant!
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeeA
Santa Cruz, CA75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
I’m a local but wow…Point Lobos is special and mind blowing every time. Every viewpoint is amazing. Great easy hike …about 6 miles but you can drive to different view points. Wonderful docents along the way to give you helpful tips and even let you use their binoculars. On this special visit, there was a partial eclipse and we witnessed the birth of a harbor seal! Blessed!
Written 20 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aaron W
95 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Baby seals are being born in several of the coves in the park. Super fun to see them and the seal moms. Very pretty place - we hiked all 6 miles of the park. It was great.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carmina
California15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Definitely the top place to see in Carmel. Beautiful ocean views. Short hikes very doable with kids available. Just be careful of poison ivy. $10/car entrance fee. $9/car if with seniors.
Written 11 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin S
Cincinnati, OH32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
This place is amazing. The views are simply stunning. We did not have a chance to do the trails but all of the beach spots were awesome. It was super crowded in March so parking in the park filled up quickly and even the road parking stretched at least a mile from the entrance.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 4,305
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

POINT LOBOS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All Carmel HotelsCarmel Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Carmel
All things to do in Carmel
Day Trips in Carmel
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire