Gibsons Beach Overlook

Point Lobos State Reserve–A Photographer’s Paradise

Point Lobos State Natural Preserve in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, has always been one of my favorite places. And since I became a photographer, I love it even more.

I recently spent a day hiking nearly every one of the trails between Gibson Beach and Whaler’s Cove. As both a nature lover and a photographer, I was in paradise. It’s been a number of years since I was able to spend time there, and it has lost none of its charm over time. I felt like a kid in a candy store with beautiful views, wildlife and wildflowers at every turn.

If you are planning a visit to central California, this is a must-stop destination. You can cover pretty much the entire reserve in one day. Bring a picnic, a water bottle, and your sunscreen, and you can’t go wrong. The hiking is really more strolling. The paths are not steep or difficult, and there are many areas where you can freely roam across the rocks or along the beaches. Additionally, the Reserve extends out into the ocean with opportunities for certified scuba divers to explore the kelp forests, and for limited kayaking.

Our visit to Point Lobos was part of our summer adventure up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the day. You can purchase many of them by simply clicking on the image, and it will take you to my photography gallery , with these and other of my favorite photographs.

The Trail to Allen Grove
The Trail to Allen Grove, one of only two native stands of Monterey Cypress in the world.
Carmel Meadow
This beautiful meadow of native grasses and wildflowers is framed by twisting Monterey Cypress.
Foggy Morning at Point Lobos 1
Summer mornings at Point Lobos are marked by a foggy marine layer, that gives the landscape a soft, watercolor look.
Seaside Grasses
Point Lobos is covered with beautiful wildflowers and grasses, some of which are found almost nowhere else on earth.
Bird Island at Point Lobos
Bird Island, certainly aptly named, is one of Point Lobos’ most popular walks.
Nesting bird at Point Lobos
We were fortunate to get a view of this and other nesting birds with their young on Bird Island.
gull at Bird Island
A gull prepares for take-off from Bird Island.
Wildflowers by the Sea
Point Lobos has colorful native wildflowers along nearly every trail and path throughout the Reserve. The Wildflowers by the Sea are just one such beautiful mix of wildflowers.
Peaceful Point Lobos
The rocky coastlines of Point Lobos provide a never-ending variety of scenery, such as this peaceful area, a contrast to some of the other areas of the Reserve.
Incoming Tide at Point Lobos
We watched the tide come in over the rocks along the South Shore Trail.
Splash Cove
Splashing Surf at The Slot on the South Shore Trail.
Whaler's Cove at Point Lobos
Beautiful and peaceful Whaler’s Cove at Point Lobos Natural Reserve.
Whalers Cove
Whaler’s Cove at Point Lobos with a view of The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission in the distance.

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