• 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


Fog is one of many weather conditions frequently found at Cabrillo National Monument.
NPS Photo

Near Perfection

Almost three million county residents can't be wrong: it's the weather. While many areas of the country are hibernating under blankets of snow or sweltering in muggy mid-summer humidity, San Diego's climate is generally sunny and mild year-round.


The Pacific Ocean has a strong influence on weather conditions. Springtime visitors to Cabrillo National Monument should be prepared for cool, windy, and foggy conditions, even if it is sunny, hot, and dry further inland. An overcast marine layer can develop near the coast at any time of year, but this phenomenon is most common during the late spring and early summer. Locals call these times "May Gray" and "June Gloom." Thinking of hitting San Diego's beaches to laze in the warmth of sun-baked sand? You'll probably want to trade the swimsuit for a sweatshirt and pants, as cloudy skies dominate and temperatures rarely rise above 70 degrees. The upside: you can pack away the umbrellas, because there's little chance of rain.


Ahhhh, summer in San Diego. Blissful visitors stroll the park, the air redolent with the scent of sunscreen. The city enjoys temperatures in the 80s during July and August, but fog can roll in suddenly, resulting in a quick drop in temperature.


Following the rhythm of the seasons, San Diego begins winding down in autumn. Rain is rare, skies are clear, and temperatures usually hover in the mid-70s. Fall is also the time when Santa Anas hit the county. These ferocious winds howl in from the desert to the east, bringing dramatic temperature increases (daytime highs can quickly rise into the 90s), hot, dry air, and virtually no humidity. Startled yelps provide the park's autumn soundtrack, as visitors and staff endure recurrent static electric shocks when coming in contact with metal exhibits, car doors, or each other.


November through February is the rainy season here, with chilly weather fronts roaring down from the Gulf of Alaska, delivering sometimes torrential downpours and temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Once storms move out, however, the views from Cabrillo are usually the best of the year: the rain cleanses the air and makes for crystal-clear panoramas.

What to Wear

A well-prepared visitor to Cabrillo National Monument will dress in layers any time of year to accommodate changes in weather conditions, and will remember the sunscreen and hat for sunny days: coastal sun can be bright, even on cold winter days.

For an up-to-date weather forecast for San Diego, click here to go to Weather.com.

Snow on San Diego's mountains
Winter is a great time to visit Cabrillo National Monument: once storms pass, the sun comes out, the air is clear, and the vistas can be spectacular.
NPS photo
Bayside Trail Slide Area
The same precipitation that creates crystal-clear views can also have adverse effects.  What happens when you get a lot of rain in a short period of time, combined with a typically arid Mediterranean climate?  When the soil is dry and there's no where for the water to go, you get problems - like this landslide on the park's Bayside Trail, which was triggered by heavy rains in 2005.
NPS Photo

Did You Know?


Did you know that Cabrillo National Monument has joined with the other federal and City landowners on the Point Loma peninsula to form the Point Loma Ecological Conservation Area (PLECA)? The five agencies collaborate to manage nearly 700 acres of protected and endangered habitat.