A glimpse at Crystal Cove in May

Crystal Cove State Park has a variety of events in May, include Art in the Park on May 4. During the spring, 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 upcoming offerings.

Saturday, May 4: Art in the Park from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park and Crystal Cove Conservancy invite visitors to enjoy a day of art and music at their Art in the Park festivity, a day filled with activities that celebrate the integration of art and nature. The Historic District will come alive with musical performances, workshops, demonstrations and activities. Enjoy free family-friendly art events, shop for arts and crafts from local vendors and enjoy a beautiful day at Crystal Cove. For a full schedule, visit https://crystalcove.org/event/art-in-the-park-2024/. Park in the Los Trancos lot and walk through the tunnel to the Education Commons (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos). $15 day-use fee.

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Take a Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk on May 5

Sunday, May 5: Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk at 1 p.m.

Spring gives us a series of excellent low tides in the late morning and early afternoon. The receding tide leaves a potluck of animals and seaweed to explore so come join in for a Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk. Where there are tidepools, they’ll investigate. Maybe talk a little geology. You’ll walk from Reef Point toward the Historic District. When you are finished exploring, 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, May 10: 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 known as the “Perimeter of the Park.” 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. Please arrive by 7:15 a.m. 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.

Saturday, May 11: Sunset Treasure and photo Op Walk from 6:30-8:30 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 on this Sunset Treasure and Photo Op Walk at Crystal Cove State Park. 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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Join a park naturalist on a Spring Bird Walk on May 18 and you may spot a gnatcatcher, roadrunner or osprey

Saturday, May 18: Spring Bird Walk from 8-10 a.m.

The birds are twitterpated and spring is an invigorating time to see “birds in love!” Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to identify new species as well as seeing and hearing their resident avian friends like California Gnatcatchers, Greater Roadrunners and Osprey. Come join a park naturalist for an easy Spring Bird Walk along Moro Canyon. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground). $15 day use fee.

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Explore the coastal section of the park during a Beach Geology Tour on May 19

Sunday, May 19: Beachfront Geology Tour from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a Beachfront Geology Tour along the coastal section of the park to explore 125,000-year-old deposits of elevated beach sand, cobbles and hundreds of fossil clams which can be observed in place 80 ft. up near the top of the sea cliff or as broken rocks on the beach below. You’ll also talk about the huge boulders strewn across the beach which reveal evidence of a different geologic time. Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). $15 day use fee.

Friday, May 24: Full Moon Hike from 7:45-10 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. 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. Please RSVP to Lets Go Outside at https://letsgooutside.org.

For a complete calendar of events, go to www.crystalcovestatepark.org/park-calendars/.


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