A glimpse at Crystal Cove
Crystal Cove State Park is offering a variety of public events in February. During the winter, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.
Here is a glimpse at a few of the offerings.
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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park
Taking a scenic hike
–Friday, Feb. 9: Perimeter of the Park from 7:15-11:30 a.m.
Ready for a challenging hike to tour the Crystal Cove backcountry? Join a park docent as you go from the “gills to the hills” on this strenuous but very scenic loop hike. The distance is around nine miles; elevation/gain loss, around 1,500 ft. The hike is done at a moderate pace with one or two short breaks. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack. Arrive by 7:15 as the hike will start promptly at 7:30 a.m. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at the stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs towards the Ranger Station). $15 day use fee.
–Sunday, Feb. 11: Sunset Treasure and Photo Op Walk from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Join a docent for a slow-paced walk along the beach at low tide stopping to admire sea treasures, birds and interesting rocks. Let the sounds of the sea and sights soothe you as you walk to an ideal spot to watch the sun sink behind Catalina Island. You’ll walk on flat, firm sand except for the steepish paved ramp from the parking lot to the beach. Meet at the restroom building at Reef Point (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk to the southernmost end of the lot). $15 day use fee.
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–Sunday, Feb. 18: Guided Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk at 11 a.m.
Winter days on the beach at Crystal Cove are quieter with the empty beach, resting birds and super clear water. The tides are lowest during the day and the receding tide leaves a potluck of animals and seaweed to explore. Join this walk from Reef Point toward the Historic District. When you are finished exploring, continue to the Historic District, take some refreshment, and enjoy the spectacular view at the Shake Shack, then return at your leisure along the blufftop trail. Wear sturdy walking shoes, or closed-toed sandals for tidepooling, as rocks can be slippery and sharp, and your feet will likely get wet. Bring a hiking pole if you are unsteady on rocks. Meet at the Reef Point Lot (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk, then left to the first restroom building, which is on the right). $15 day use fee.
–Friday, Feb. 23: Moro Canyon Loop, stories and sunset hike from 3-6 p.m.
Join a park naturalist on this hike, where you will warm in the canyon, ramble up the ridge and end the trek while watching the sunset from BFI trail. This popular hiking route has something for everyone: brief stories of the culture and history of Crystal Cove’s past residents, the progress of restoration projects within the park, designated habitat restoration and beautiful views. This five-mile hike is moderately paced (3.0 mph) with an incline of about 800 ft. and could be strenuous for some. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station).
$15 day use fee.
–Saturday, Feb. 24: Full Moon hike from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile hike. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. Bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station). $5 entrance fee. Reservations are required, so RSVP to email@example.com.
For a complete calendar of events, go to www.crystalcovestatepark.org/park-calendars/.