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A bluff hike on the Monterey coast.

In early summer, before the fogs of July and August descend, hiking can be spectacular in the Point Lobos area, 8 miles south of Monterey. Nearby Garrapata State Park is largely underdeveloped and little visited (much of its 2,750 acres stretch up the mountain east of State Highway 1 and are inaccessible). But you can hike through the 120 acres west of the highway on the Soberanes Trail, a 1-1/2-mile hike over low bluffs that gives you wonderful views across rocky promontories to sea otters and sea lions in the waters below.

The trail skirts low bluffs, just 50 feet above the water, and the sea lions rest on the rocks just offshore. (They feed in the morning, haul out in midday.) You can hike out to Soberanes Point, down to a sandy beach for a picnic, or up a side trail to a small peak. In June the hills should blaze with golden yarrow. Watch for poison oak. The signed trailhead is on Highway 1, 6.9 miles south of the stoplight at Rio Road, on the south edge of Carmel. There's parking in two pullouts.
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Title Annotation:California
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1984
Words:189
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