There are about four miles of trails at the Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park, but you can cover most of the grounds via the two-mile North Trail loop. You should plan to spend a full day here regardless of how many miles you hike—this park is a paradise for ocean-loving dogs and humans. Not only can you and your pup enjoy a relaxing, level walk near the sea, your dog can even tour the beautifully restored historic lighthouse with you! And if you're wanting to extend your stay here to a mini-vacation, you can stay in the West Cottage, a pet-friendly rental near the lighthouse.
The walk from the Point Cabrillo Light Station parking lot to the lighthouse is about half a mile. From the lighthouse, you can make a tight loop back to the parking lot or meander along spur trails through the coastal prairie to the sea cliffs and Frolic Cove. Wildflowers bloom in warmer months and the grasses turn golden in the fall. The unobstructed views make Point Cabrillo a great place to watch grey whales as they head up the coast during their seasonal migration between November and April. Humpback whales, dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions, and even blue whales have been spotted from here. Over 50 species of birds fly these skies, including northern harriers, ospreys, black oystercatchers, and white-tailed kites.
If you want to get down to sea level, you can follow a spur from the North Trail down to Frolic Cove, which is the site of a historic shipwreck and early timber expeditions. The small sandy beach area is surrounded by impressive rock formations that divide the water into several deep blue pools. A waterfall spills from one of the cliff faces into a rocky stream below that flows into the ocean. It's a beautiful spot at any time of day but is an especially lovely place to watch the sun set. If you rent the cottage, you can linger here after the crowds disperse and enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean well into twilight. You're sure to remember the special time you spend here with your dog for years to come.