Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in Carmel by the Sea, CA has to be by far one of the most amazing hikes I’ve embarked upon. Each corner I turned a new surprise awaited. I walked for over 6 miles, staying along the shoreline and not skipping any loops because I didn’t want to miss a single view.
I started my journey at the main entrance and stayed to the far left, wandering through dense forestation which gave way to Gibson Beach, the first sight of the ocean on this trail about 30 minutes in. I couldn’t help but want to sink my toes into the sand, so I wandered down the steep flight of steps until I made my way onto the beach. I couldn’t get my sneakers and socks off fast enough. There has always been something about the ocean that is immediately freeing to me. Maybe it is the sound of the waves that subconsciously eases my mind. I spent a good 30 minutes just soaking in all of nature’s beauty. Behind me, green hills stood tall rising to meet the bright blue sky and in front of me the endless sea stretched out and crashed back in. I felt at ease.
Back up the steps, I set forth on the trails. I immediately took the short loop to the left and was pleasantly surprised and happy I decided to wander in that direction. Sea lions bathed off in the distance atop a salty gray gravel plateau. Rock formations carved arches into the hills where water flowed freely through. Bright yellow flowers and wispy whimsical grasses and plants sprayed out from the earth all around me, creating a type of movement that you would expect from vegetation by the ocean.
Not long after trekking back down the main trail I was elated by more beauty. This time, I discovered coves with magnificent colors that reminded me of the Caribbean. Harbor seals lounged on their own private beach by the aqua sea where shades of blue and gray blended the ocean and the sky. I stood above, awestruck taking in this amazing scenic view that nature has so graciously blessed me with.
Elevated trails made way to lower levels meeting the ocean. Low tides left behind pools of water that I explored. Starfish and baby crabs were among the treasures that I encountered. I sunk my GoPro under the water to catch a red starfish in its natural habitat. As I neared the end of the trail I opted to take the last loop. The elevation rose again, and the forest grew denser, giving me a peak-a-boo view of the hills in the distance. Lining the trail towards the end of the loop were a peculiar type of tree, absent from color or leaves. The tree’s bare branches twisted out in different directions as if they were trying to grow their roots back into the earth. Even though they possessed no color I was still impressed with the display of art they created.
After the last loop it took 30 minutes to get back to the main entrance through a fantasy forest, thick with fog, and adorned with tress that you would see in a Disney movie. It seemed as though they were dancing around me, cheering me on to the finish. I could not be more thankful that I got to experience Point Lobos in Carmel by the Sea. I am simply amazed by nature and all of her beauty.
Nature and All of Her Beauty/ June 3, 2016/ © Jill E. Gallien