Cabrillo National Monument

Left: Plaza and Statue, NPS Photo
Top Right: Lighthouse, NPS photo
Bottom Right: Reenactors, NPS photo

Named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, leader of the first European expedition to and first European to set foot on the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Monument celebrates the spirit of discovery, and protects the rare natural and cultural riches of the San Diego area.

The park is located at the southern-most tip of the Point Loma peninsula and is isolated from other natural land by the ocean and surrounding urban development. The natural area on the peninsula is, in effect, an island of rare habitats within a highly developed landscape. The monument, at 160 acres in size, also administers 128 acres of marine rocky intertidal area and co-manages the 640 acre Point Loma Ecological Conservation Area with the United States Navy.

Cabrillo National Monument is rich with history and culture including sixteenth century exploration, 19th century lighthouses, and a military history that dates back to World War I and is still active today.

Situated at the southern-most extent of some plant and animal ranges, and the northern-most extent of others, Cabrillo National Monument has a high level of plant and animal diversity. Many habitats on the peninsula have been recognized as endangered by the California Department of Fish and Game and include such communities as maritime succulent scrub, coastal sage scrub, and maritime chaparral. The park is also an important stopover for birds along the Pacific flyway. The rocky intertidal area, bordering the southwestern end of the park, is one of the richest and most diverse tide pool areas remaining in San Diego County. Just off-shore, outside of the park boundary, lie the Point Loma kelp beds. Together, over 1000 species of organisms, including more than 80 sensitive species, reside in the marine and terrestrial environments of Point Loma.

See the links to the right to learn more about the park’s natural resources, research opportunities, and how to get involved through volunteering or an internship.