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National Monument

About the Park

Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Cabrillo in 1542, the first European to set foot on the west coast of the United States. The park also preserves the 19th century Old Point Loma Lighthouse and a cove of tidepools on the shore.

Things to Do:

  • The visitor center offers films and exhibits on Juan Cabrillo.

  • The Cabrillo statue is right behind the visitor center.

  • Hiking. The trailhead for the Bayside Trail is about a half mile south of the visitor center and goes for about a mile along the bay side shore.

  • The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is south of the visitor center. Tours are self-guided.

  • The tide pools. The only access to the tide pools are from the tide pool parking lots and those can fill up quickly during low tide. There is additional parking north along Cabrillo road.

Cabrillo NM NPS Site

Discussion Topics

  • Juan Cabrillo had no idea what he would find as he sailed north along the western coast of North America. Have you ever explored a place where you didn't know what the land looked like ahead of you? How does that feel?

  • At the lighthouse, you can see all the rooms of the house, furnished as they might have been when the keepers lived there. The lighthouse keeper and his family, including children, would live in the lighthouse. Would you like to live in a lighthouse? What parts would be fun about it? What parts wouldn't be?

  • Here is a tide chart for the tide pools at Cabrillo NM. What does the chart mean? How can you use this to decide when is the best time to visit the tide pools?


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