Point Lobos State Reserve is a hidden gem along the California Coast. Point Lobos can sometimes be overshadowed by the popularity of Big Sur, which is just a few miles further south along Highway 1. Boasting a rich wildlife and beautiful landscape, Point Lobos is an excellent destination for hiking.

The trails in Point Lobos lead hikers along the Pacific Ocean and culminate in hidden coves. These coves are an idyllic place to sit and witness the beauty of when land and sea meet. There are paths designed for the avid hiker as well as those looking for a leisurely stroll. Typically from July to September, the fog rolls in, covering the area an ethereal mist. Other days, the sunshine warms the rocks and glistens on the water. Always remember to pack a sweater in case the fog and sunshine decide to coincide on the same day.

While on your hike, keep your eyes peeled for deer and rabbits that frolic along the path. You might also catch a glimpse of weasels, badgers or even a bobcat. There are certainly more wildlife that call Point Lobos home, but these animals are nocturnal. These night crawlers include gray foxes, raccoons, striped skunks and opossums. Nocturnal animals to avoid while hiking are coyotes and mountain lions, which rarely make daytime appearances.

You will also want to look over your shoulder towards the ocean. One of the most magnificent creatures that pass along the coast line is the Gray Whale. These massive whales can be easily seen from the coast side almost anytime between December and April. Orcas can be seen breaching in the Pacific year round. Other photogenic sea life includes harbor seals, elephant seals, sea lions and sea otters. As a reminder, Point Lobos is a protected marine area, so it is always advised to keep your distance from these spectacular yet wild animals.

If you want to be sure that you don't miss a thing on your Point Lobos hike, consider taking a guided tour. California Legacy Tours offers tours in Point Lobos by author, interpreter, historian and storyteller Monica Hudson. She's written many books about this area and enjoys sharing her insider experience. As an interpreter, she can also offer the tour in French, Spanish and German. Please go to http://www.calegacytours.com/ for more information.

For more information on Point Lobos, please visit http://www.pointlobos.org/