A glimpse at Crystal Cove in April

Crystal Cove State Park is offering a variety of events in April. 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 offerings.

Wednesday, April 3: Tidepool Exploration Walk from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Barnacles and sea stars and crabs, oh my! Join a park naturalist for a guided Tidepool Exploration Walk and learn about the exciting animals that live in this ever-changing habitat nestled in the watery pools of Crystal Cove State Park’s Marine Protected Area. You will walk less than half a mile down to the rocky shoreline to explore the intertidal zone and learn about how tidepool organisms use a variety of adaptations to survive in a challenging environment. The path down to the tidepools is paved, but then you will be walking on uneven and unpredictable surfaces of sand and rock, so wear closed-toe footwear with grip. The tidepools may be slippery. Sunscreen and/or a hat are advised depending on the weather. Meet at the Los Trancos Parking Lot at the trailer with the ramp (PCH turn inland at the stoplight Los Trancos). $15 day use fee.

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Spot resident dolphins, migrating gray whales and birds on the Whale & Wildlife “Twalk”

Saturday, April 6: Whale & Wildlife “Twalk” from 9-11 a.m.

Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to look for resident dolphins, migrating gray whales and birds just passing by the coastline. Join a park naturalist for a Whale & Wildlife “Twalk” and learn some fun facts about the coastal creatures as you walk the bluff trail and scan the ocean at each overlook. Bring binoculars for better viewing. Meet at Pelican Point lot #4 (PCH coastward at Newport Coast left at kiosk to the last lot). $15 day use fee.

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Check out the fascinating creatures that call tidepools home

Sunday, April 7: Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk at 2 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 a Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk. Where there are tidepools, you’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 bluff top trail. Wear sturdy walking shoes, or closed-toed sandals for tidepooling, rocks can be slippery and sharp, and your feet will likely get wet, and 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, April 12: 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.

Saturday, April 13: 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 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 Amphitheatre (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground). $15 day use fee.

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Stewards will aid in activities such as weeding, seeding and planting

Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20: Stewardship Days from 8-11:30 a.m.

Come help Crystal Cove Conservancy and work alongside California State Parks on habitat restoration projects during Stewardship Days. Participants will aid in activities such as weeding, seeding, and planting. Be prepared to walk about 30 minutes to the project site (3 miles round trip) on mostly flat, but uneven canyon trails with slight elevation gain. This event is recommended for ages 8 and up. All participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Jennifer Mendez at jennifer@crystalcove.org for questions and to register.

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


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