Visitor Expectations

A state reserve is an area embracing outstanding natural or scenic characteristics of statewide significance. The purpose of a state reserve is to preserve native ecological associations, unique animal and plant life, geological features, and scenic qualities in an undisturbed condition. To ensure the protection of the Reserve and for your safety, please adhere to the following guidelines.

Safety First- Stay on Trails
Respect the power of the ocean. Keep a safe distance by remaining on trails and within wire guides, except where shoreline access is indicated by steps or is directly adjacent to a trail. Pedestrians should avoid paved roads, except at cross walks.

Poison Oak and Ticks
Both are found in the Reserve. Tick bites can be serious and poison oak is dangerous to humans who are allergic to the oil found in all parts of the plant, including stems. Stay on trails to lessen potential contact. 

Games and Recreational Activities
Do not use drones, game equipment such as baseballs, footballs, frisbees and kites, and avoid geocaching. All can endanger your own safety and do harm to wildlife and the natural features of Point Lobos. 

Do Not Disturb Wildlife
Do not disturb or touch wildlife. If you think something may be wrong with an animal, report it to a Ranger or Docent. Do not feed any animals; protect their health and your own safety.

No Collecting
Do not collect, remove, or disturb any natural object, including flowers, mushrooms, wood, rocks, shells, tidepool life and kelp. Fishing is absolutely prohibited. 

No Smoking or Fires
Point Lobos vegetation is highly combustible. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the Reserve. Fires, barbecues, and the use of stoves are not permitted. 

Vehicles and Parking
The speed limit is 15 mph. Please watch for wildlife on roads and pedestrians in cross walks. Park in designated lots only. Do not park parallel on the side of the road. If a lot is full, drive on to another parking area. Lock your car and keep valuables with you.

Bicycles are allowed on paved roads only, and may not be ridden or walked on trails. Posts for securing your bicycle are in parking areas.

No Dogs
You may not bring dogs into Point Lobos, even if they are left in your vehicle. Service animals are permitted, as are properly tagged service animals in training.

Picnicking is allowed only in the picnic areas at the Whalers Cove, Piney Woods and Bird Island parking lots. Fires, barbecues, and the use of stoves are prohibited.

Scuba Diving and Free Diving
Diving access is limited to Whalers Cove and Bluefish Cove. Diving regulations are posted at the entrance station where all divers must register. Reservations can be made up to 2 months in advance.

Closing Time
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve closing times vary throughout the year. Check the sign at the entrance, or with Reserve staff, to be sure you leave the Reserve by the posted closing time.