August 18, 2012
Visit to Crystal Cove State Park (Laguna Beach, California)
Sites for more information:
- Park Website
- Hiking Map
- Beaches information (from the park site)
- Crystal Cove Alliance (groups working on preserving the entire area)
- Corey's Photos on flickr
This July, I visited Southern California for a short trip to accompany the Mrs. attending and working at the Barbie Convention in Anaheim. One day during our trip, we decided to visit the Pacific Ocean near Laguna Beach and decided on Crystal Cove State Park. This is an amazing place to visit and should be on everyone's short list if they are going to Southern California. We wanted to hike in the highlands as well as make it to the beach, but we did not have a chance. We also missed out on the historic district, where the small bungalows from the 1920s and later still look today as they did when they were built. While we only hiked on the beach - it was fantastic.
We entered the park at the Pelican Point Entrance off the Pacific Coast Highway (see the map here) and found great parking areas with modern facilities. The area to the south of this is where most of the swimming seems to take place, so this area is nice and sparsely populated. Here are the facilities near the parking area:
The walkway to the beach was spectacular and gave you a great view of the cliffs and the waves. This was fairly easy walking, you can gauge the steepness of the drop:
The walk on the beach includes some great rock formations. While it was possible to do barefoot - it would have been nice at times to have water shoes.
There was a fair amount of wildlife by the water. We saw a number of salamanders & lizards:
Pelicans (I missed some good shots...oh well)
And lots of Seagulls
We walked along the water until we reached Little Treasure Cove. This was spectacular. Not only did it feature beautiful rock formations, there were lots of crabs that were living in the crevasse of the rocks.
If you get a chance to visit, be sure to leave more time and make it to the Historic District. For the $15 State of California daily parking pass - it is well worth the visit. The beauty of the scenery and the crashes of the waves of the beautiful beach make for a perfect way to spend a day.