It was only minutes into our hike when we first saw a crescent of cliffs, trees and water. Waves lapped on the sand, while low clouds cast a brooding overtone of kelp forests gently swirling in the surf. And to our delight, we spotted a white and gray harbor seal, looking like a chubby rock with flippers, while he was napping on a real rock.
This was Whaler’s Cove, our first stop on the scenic perimeter hike to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, located just four miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea and seven miles south of Monterey. The approximately six-mile hike through the park takes visitors through some of California’s most awe-inspiring views central coast.