|Layers of sedimentary rock have been exposed by erosion on the Pacific side of Cabrillo.|
Point Loma contains posh residential enclaves, many with breathtaking views of the bay and downtown, as well as Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation. You drive through the residential and military areas to reach Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. It's time to choose sides: Pacific or bay.
|It is illegal to collect seashells or even rocks at Cabrillo. Hermit|
crabs, some with bright blue legs, can be found using other creatures'
shells in the tidal pools.
The bay side also has trails, though with more lush vegetation, as well as the visitors' center and a monument to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who in the early 1540s led the first Europeans exploring what is now California. Using three boats built in El Salvador, he explored San Diego Bay and as far north as what is now Los Angeles. He was one of the last adventurers as the Age of Exploration morphed into the Colonial Era. He died in California, supposedly of an infection after breaking a bone. His crew continued north, possibly as far as the Rogue River in Oregon, before returning to Central America.
|The view eastward from the Cabrillo visitors' center.|
In the foreground is San Diego bay, then Coronado's Navy airfield,
then more of the bay and the downtown skyline.
|Rocky promontories offer dramatic views of the waves.|
|Ravines lead from the Pacific highlands to wave-splashed rocks.|
|A police boat speeds across the bay below the visitors' center.|