Cabrillo National Monument & Dog Beach

We arrived in the San Diego area on Tuesday after 5 days of rain.  There is quite a bit of flooding and damage from these storms. There is a dip just before our campground that has about 3-4 inches of rushing water going across the road. car-in-dip We were initially nervous about crossing until we watched several others go through.   When we arrived at our campground, Pio Pico, we had to check in on the north side as all the south side spots were full.  The north side has no sewer hook ups.  We are on the waiting list to get to the south side.  We could have moved yesterday but we are holding out for a “perfect spot” before we move.  Today we are up to number 2 on the list. This means that each day we need to go to the south side at 0830 to see the list of open sites and decide if we want one.  If we do, we wait until 0900 and then people pick their spot based on what number they are on the list.  We are hoping today will be the day we get the perfect spot.  This does mean that until we get a spot, we can’t head out on adventures until after 0900.  

The plan for yesterday was to get Gizmo some exercise as he had been cooped up in the RV for days with the rain and the traveling.  We figured we would check out Dog Beach as we had heard a lot about it.


Statue at Dog Beach- What a gem of a place this is.  It is so nice to get your dog off leash in a safe place to run.  

The ride to the beach was easy and we were very happy to find plentiful, free public parking at the beach.  We have been working hard on getting Gizmo dog socialized over the past year.   We have brought him to multiple dog parks.  He typically walks around and sniffs but doesn’t want to play with other dogs or even play fetch.  In fact, he usually just makes his way to the gate and looks at us like it’s time to leave.  The beach was a totally different experience for him.  The beach itself is “off-leash” and there are lots of dogs of every size having a blast running and playing.  We took Gizmo off leash and he gave us the look of, “what do you mean you didn’t bring my frisbee”.  We were lucky and found a stick of just the right size and he spent the next 20 minutes playing fetch.img_8254  He had a great time and even played with other small dogs.  This is definitely a place we will have to bring him back to.

We realized that we were close to Cabrillo National Monument so we decided to spend the remainder of our day exploring this park. img_5044 I had read on line that this is not a very friendly dog area.  We were given “dog” information at the gate.  There is only one area your dog can even get out of the car, and it is the tide pools and the trail to it.  Dogs are not supposed to be out of the car, even in parking lots.  John and I took turns going into the visitors area. img_5053 There is an exhibit and a great deck overlooking San Diego. img_5054 We decided to hold off on visiting the lighthouse for another day.  We planned our stop at the tide pools for about 1-hour before low water.  The parking lot is pretty small and we had heard it would get busy right at low water.  The 1/2 mile trail near the tide pools is dog friendly as is the tide pool area.  The trail has beautiful views of the coast and we all enjoyed the opportunity to stretch our legs.img_5117  When we finished the hike we spent time looking closely in the tide pools.


Aggregating Anemones


Anemone that is open- These we’re really cool to look at

We saw several anemones and some shells.


Leave the shells- They are future homes

Despite the majority of the park being off limits to dogs, this trail is a great area to explore with dogs.

On the way out of the park we stopped at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.  We were told at the entrance that there are over 120,000 veterans buried here.  img_5128


About gizmogoeswest

I just "pre-tired" from my job of over 30 years as a nurse. John, my husband and Gizmo and Sierra our Shih Tzus are embarking on our 3rd cross country RV adventure. We are searching for awesome dog friendly hikes and adventures
This entry was posted in Dog Friendly, hiking, National Parks and Monuments, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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