Coastal Trail

coastal trail
The coastal trail at Lot 2 of Cabrillo National Monument. The trail offers coastal ocean views, rare native plants, and wildlife.

The coastal trail at Cabrillo National Monument is a short one-mile round trip hike ranging from easy to moderate difficulty due to a few steep slopes. You can find this trail on the west side of the peninsula, which leads to the tidepool access area. This trail can be started from the entrances at Lot 1 or Lot 2 off of Gatchell Rd. Take Cabrillo Rd. from the main entrance of the park to Gatchell and park at either lot.

On this trail you’ll find wide, easy paths with an amazing coastal view. The easy paths lead to steep stairs. Keep in mind this trail is constantly impacted by erosion and some of the stairs are uneven and rugged. It is not possible to take strollers etc. on this trail.

Look upslope to the east and you’ll see native Mediterranean Coastal Sage Scrub and Maritime Chaparral plants. This native vegetation was once abundant in southern California but development has left very little acreage remaining. You may see rangers and volunteers pulling invasive weeds in this area and in other parts of the park. One recent project led to the resurgence of native sea dahlia (pictured below).

Sea Dahlia
The rare Sea Dahlia or Coreopsis maritima in full bloom along the coastal trail.

This coastal area is also the only area in the park where leashed dogs are allowed. It is popular with local dog walkers, runners, hikers and those who just want to take in the view and fresh coastal breezes. Keep in mind, there are no trash cans along the trail. Please pick up after your dog. Restrooms are located at Lot 1. Enjoy your hike!

Last revised 25-Aug-14

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