This hike was strenuous for me, but I am obviously getting old. Crystal Cove State Park offers four or five different trails, and we took the shortest one: five miles. It was steep, and on the way down it was steeper. There is no tree coverage; however, we were there on a cloudy, cool day, so it was perfect.
There are some flowers along the way, and this one had a little visitor in the center.
Crystal Cove is right on the other side of Pacific Coast Highway.
Earlier my eight-year old was hyperventilating on the hike uphill, but she cheered up when she knew we were nearing the end.
At this point we were not sure which trail to take to the end, and of course, we picked the wrong trail and added a few more minutes to our arduous hike.
Finally, we finished our hike and walked over to the beach. The beach is a special place because we rarely go. Traffic in Southern California deters me from taking my children there (and I loathe sand). But the beach is beautiful to look at and listen to.
Later we took a walk to the tide pool. I have never been to one before. Unfortunately it was high tide, and we did not get to see many creatures.
The sea is a little nerve racking; this was a challenge for me, watching my kids on these sharp rocks.
It was worth the three-hour plus drive, sitting in stop and go traffic, getting caught on a toll road, and being lost in a strange city. We would do this again. Maybe.