Scenic USA - California

Garrapata State Park

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Garrapata State Park - Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Photo by Ken Reece
Ken Reece Photography
Inset photo by Ian Parker

     Garrapata's dramatic headlands and offshore sea stacks offer a wonderful sample of California's Big Sur Country. Here along the coast, just south of Carmel, Garrapata State Park transitions from this rugged coastal setting, crosses Route 1, and climbs sharply toward the Santa Lucia Mountains.
     Lying on one of California's fault lines, this area is always subject to seismic movements. Point Lobos - Monterey County, CA This beautiful shoreline, covering over two miles of beachfront, is an odd mix of sandstone, granite rock and volcanic chert, creating a wild and rugged terrain. Garrapata's diverse topography takes in six vegetative zones.
     While Monterey's icy waters support large populations of seabirds, otters, sea lions and migratory gray whales, visitors find quite a different park on the east side of the coastal highway. Here along the Rocky Ridge and Soberlanes Canyon trails, hikers climb among scrubland, follow old cow paths through ranchland pastures, and up through a chaparral and a dense redwood forest. Rocky Ridge, a strenuous climb, tops out at 1400 feet above the sea, offering birds-eye-views of Soberanes Point, the rugged slopes of Soberanes Canyon and the scenic wonders of Monterey Peninsula.

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