During periods of low tides, pools form along the rocky depressions. In them you find marine life that are not always available to nonswimmers like me.
I heard of James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve from the hubby who suggested we take a short stop here on our way to Monterey last spring. To maximize our time and fully enjoy the tide pools, I called ahead of time for the low tide schedule.
The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is west of CA Hwy 1 in Moss Beach at the westend of California Avenue. Look for the large highway sign that says California Avenue and a smaller sign for the Marine Life Refuge just below. Drive to the end of the road and park in the lot. [source]
Best time to go: May and June generally have the best (lowest) tides and they stay low longer. Check a tide table before you go to be sure you get there at the right time of day. Tides are measured in feet: 2.0 means the water is 2 feet above sea level. Go when tide is less than 1.5 (minus tides are even better). Tide pools will be exposed about 2 hours before and 1.5 hours after low tide. [source]
Signs along the entry of the reserve.
The rocky crags are full of marine life. Inspect carefully.
Established in 1969, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is one of the richest intertidal areas on the California coast. Extensive shale reefs are home for a wide variety of marine life, such as giant green anemones, limpets, purple sea urchins, crabs and snails. In fact, over 25 new species have been discovered at the reserve. It's best to see the tide pools during the low minus tides which expose the rocky shoreline to view. [source]
Large beds of mussels. Careful where you step.
Also calling this home are the harbor seals. Keep your distance.
There is a little beach area, but people come here for the tide pools.
It's one of the best spots I've seen, rarely known around these parts.
BTW, I had the most amazing vacation so far. It wasn't a relaxing one. I was on my feet walking and sweating. I am happy that I didn't overdo it with picture taking and I have just enough photos I thought, but still too much to get organized right away.
Will blog about this later after the other posts in queue.