• The tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument


    National Monument California

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  • 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

Tidepooling Tips

Because of their protected status, some of the best tidepools in California can be found right here at Cabrillo National Monument. Follow these tips for a more enjoyable visit:

  • For optimum viewing, a negative low tide is a must.The very best time for tidepooling is during the winter months, when those good negative low tides occur during daylight hours when the park is open.In the summer months, the negative low tides generally occur in the middle of the night. Even though there are daily low tides during the summer, many times they still are too high to really see anything - there's just too much water in the tidepools to adequately access them. Bonus: if you visit during the winter, we always try to have a Park Ranger or Volunteers in the tidepools to answer questions and to help you spot tidepool critters (and we're always looking for Volunteers to help out!).
  • Please note that a vehicle is required to get to the lower area of the park where the tidepools are located; once parked, it's a short walk and scramble down into the tidepools.
  • Shoes with good gripping soles are best, as rocky areas become slippery with water and algae.
  • Please keep small children close - a child's enthusiasm and excitement over being in this natural wonderland can quickly translate into a slip or tumble.

Feel free to give us a call at (619) 557-5450, extension 0 - we'll be glad to let you know when the best low tide is so you can plan a visit to this unique and special area!

Did You Know?


Did you know that a fossilized fern was found at the tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument? It is now housed at the San Diego Natural History Museum.