Long considered the “crown jewel” of California’s 280 state parks, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a magnet for nature lovers around the world. With its breathtaking beauty, fascinating wildlife and friendly and knowledgeable volunteers, Point Lobos is a place where one can experience nature at its best and explore this area's fascinating human history.
While the California Department of Parks and Recreation continues its work to find creative ways to sustain our state parks, Point Lobos is benefitting from the support of the Point Lobos Foundation. Our mission is to protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks. The Foundation is the sole source of funding for the model volunteer program, protects the Reserve's environmental health and historical integrity by funding work on trails, facilities and vegetation, and continuously strives to improve programs and services for approximately one million visitors each year.
Point Lobos is a natural reserve, not a park, and afforded the highest level of statewide protection. The purpose of a reserve is to forever protect an area of unique natural beauty and ecological significance. You can do your part by staying on marked trails, leaving natural objects where you find them, and respecting wildlife in their natural habitat.
Did you know Point Lobos has docent-led free public walks almost daily? Docent-guided walks allow visitors to see Point Lobos through experienced eyes and gain insights that one might easily miss when walking the trails on one’s own. Docents are aware of seasonal events that many visitors miss, and can help in identifying the wealth of flora and fauna seen within the Reserve. These walks are less than a mile in length and can cover many interesting topics, such as nature, history, geology, tidepools and others.
We are grateful for the support we received in 2019 and look forward to a prosperous new year! There are wonderful projects in the works to enhance the visitor experience at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. As always, we continue to focus on the protection of the Reserve's unique natural beauty, ecological significance, and historical value. Join us in 2020 in our efforts!
California State Parks is considering a reservation system for Point Lobos State Natural Reserve as part of a broader plan to balance safe public access with resource protection and protect the Reserve from damage by intensive visitor use. That broader plan includes ongoing research of human impacts to critical and irreplaceable natural and cultural resources, restoration projects to replace lost habitat, more effective trail boundaries, more effective and new methods of conservation messaging and increased enforcement within the Reserve. California State Parks will require collaboration and support from partner agencies, including Caltrans and the California Coastal Commission, to implement changes that address traffic and pedestrian safety issues in and near the Reserve.
As an active partner, the Point Lobos Foundation supports and encourages California State Parks as it considers novel, adaptive management strategies to responsibly balance access with conservation. Highly visited parks like Muir Woods National Monument have demonstrated great success in implementing strategies similar to those being considered for Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
For more information about the Carmel Area State Parks General Plan, in process since 2012, click here. For more information about Point Lobos Foundation's positions on various aspects of this plan, including official comments made to California State Parks since 2012, click here.