• The tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument


    National Monument California

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Lighthouse Will Be Closed for Seismic Retrofit April 7 through May 16

    The Lighthouse is undergoing a Seismic retrofit and will be closed from April 7 - May 16. Visitors can still access the Assistant Keepers Quarters exhibit from the south door, Lighthouse Comfort Station, and Kelp Forest Overlook. Call 619-557-5450.

  • Visitor Center Scheduled to be Closed May 19 through June 16

    The Visitor Center will be undergoing a Seismic Retrofit and will be closed. Visitors will still be able to access the Auditorium, Ballast View and the East Patio. These dates are subject to change. Please call 619 557-5450 for updated information

Low Tide - Best Dates and Times

The Best Times for Visiting the Tidepools

Late fall and winter are the optimum times for a visit to the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument: unlike the summer months, when low tides occur in the middle of the night, the good low tides - including the outstanding negative low tides - in fall and winter occur during daylight hours when the park is open.

Tide Calendars

You can find information about the low tides at Cabrillo from this link available from the Foundation's webpage. There is normally a 2 hour viewing window before and after the low tide. This is shown on the calendar page. Please review the Tidepooling Tips and Rules to Protect the Tidepools to help ensure a safe visit for both you and this fragile ecosystem. Please don't pick up any tidepool critters; you may touch things gently, and please do not pry anything off the rocks. Prying off the animals will most likely kill them as they are hanging on for their lives waiting for the tide to come back in.

Nature's Windows of Opportunity

Of course, the best time to visit the tidepools is as close to the low tide time as possible, but Mother Nature has built in a four-hour window of opportunity for you. A general rule of thumb is that the tidepools can be visited approximately two hours before low tide time (when the tide is receding) and two hours after (when the tide is coming back in). Please keep in mind that the tidepool area closes at 4:30 PM. Be sure to read Tidepooling Tips and Rules to Protect the Tidepools to ensure a safe visit for both you and this fragile ecosystem.

Did You Know?


Did you know that the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument are one of the last and best-preserved rocky Intertidal areas open to the public in Southern California?