Point Lobos State Reserve, California

Big Sur beauty is personified in Point Lobos State Reserve [62 California 1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923].

In under two miles you can see more than a lifetimes worth of stunning natural scenes. I suggest taking the Cypress Grove trail not only for its loveliness, but also for its rarity. The trail contains one out of two naturally growing stands of Monterey cypress trees on Earth and it’s less than a mile.

The gnarled trees are filled with personality, but if they don’t intrigue you the fearsome turquoise water and jagged rocks will certainly take your breath away.

Sure, that’s amazing and the rugged coastline is gorgeous…but sometimes you think you’ve seen it all. Then you see the wildflowers sitting atop the bluff lettuce in the cracks of the granite.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. What is the majesty? And then a jumble of lichen climbing up the warped branches, intermingled fire and ice.

The rusty lichen is called Trentepohlia and it contains carotene.

This trail is filled with absolutely wondrous sights. Right across the parking lot is another phenomenal walk, the Sea Lion Point trail at just over half a mile long. More extraordinary vistas especially out to the tumultuous Devil’s Cauldron

and of course Sea Lion Point. Here you may see sea lions, seals, and sometimes otters.

I would very much like to return to explore the rest of the trails in this park. Tip: if you don’t mind extra walking, park just outside the preserve along the road and you can save on the entrance fee.

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