The Cabrillo Coastal trail is a short and easy trail located in Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California. The trail is moderate to heavily trafficked and offers great ocean views of the coast along Point Loma.
Cabrillo Coastal Trail
Cabrillo Coastral trail is a short one mile out and back trail along the coast of Point Loma in San Diego, California. The trail is located in Cabrillo National Monument. This coastal park is famous for it’s history of it’s lighthouse as well as showcasing the history of the discovery of San Diego by Spanish explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. Cabrillo sailed into the bay of San Diego which was then named San Miguel in the year 1542. Although San Diego was discovered in 1542, the settlement of the city did not occur until some two hundred years later.
The Cabrillo Coastal trail is great for those looking for a short trail along the coast and people looking to learn a little bit of San Diego’s early history. The trail should optimally be hiked at a low tide to enjoy Point Loma’s coastal tide pools. However, even at high tide the coast view can be refreshing and a great view of coastal sea birds, dolphins, sea lions, and gray whales during certain times of the year. The monument’s website lists the trail as moderate difficulty with a few steep slopes but it is anything but steep. Dogs are also allowed on the coastal trail.
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- Overall Difficulty: 5%
- Overall views: 55%
Cabrillo Coastal Trail Quick Facts:
- Elevation: 112 feet.
- Elevation Gain: 12 feet.
- Estimated Distance: 1 mile.
- My Actual Distance: 0.9 miles.
- Estimated Time: 30-90 minutes.
- My Time: 25 minutes.
Cabrillo Coastal Trail Directions:
Open in maps. The Cabrillo Coastal trail to the Point Loma Tide Pools has two different access points. Price of admission is the cost to the monument. An America The Beautiful Pass is also accepted. To get to the trail follow the road that leads down to the coast. There are two parking lots. The ranger had told me that the southern parking lot fills up quicker than the north one. Park at either one. The trail runs along the coast from one parking lot to the other. During summer months parking can fill up early. Check with the park website to confirm daily and holiday hours before going.
Cabrillo Coastal Trial Pictures:
Who Cabrillo Coastal Trail Is For:
Novice Hikers: This hike is perfect for novice hikers and not really that much of a challenge at all. Enjoy the coastal views and make a day out of learning San Diego’s history and learning about marine wildlife.
Advanced Hikers: Not challenging.
Expert Hikers: Not challenging.
It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.
Best Time Of Year To Hike Cabrillo Coastal Trail:
This is a great hike year round. Summer months in San Diego can be hot but because the trail lies directly next to the cool Pacific Ocean, there is usually always a light sea breeze that will keep temperatures from getting too excessively hot. Santa Ana events can occasionally bring temperatures to the coast in the high nineties to near or over one hundred.
For those Santa Ana events, the close proximity to the ocean will and short duration of this trail will still make this a viable option during extremely hot days. Occasionally San Diego does get some winter weather that brings with it onshore winds; during those storm events be aware of rain and windy conditions. I recommend bringing some form of jacket because the ocean keeps temperatures cooler than even a few miles off the coast.