Point Loma Tide Pools


Tide Pool Highlights

Location: Gatchell Road, Cabrillo National Monument Park
Point Loma, San Diego, CA (map)

Tip of Point Loma

The Point Loma Tide Pools, also known as Cabrillo Tide Pools, is located at the tip of Point Loma, just south of scenic Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The tide pools face west, near the new Point Loma Lighthouse. On a clear day, you can see the Los Coronado Islands and sail boats

Best Tide Pools in County

These tide pools are the most extensive in San Diego County and a popular destination for class room field trips. Docents are available on site to give tours and answer questions.

Part of Cabrillo Monument Park

The Tide Pools resides near the Cabrillo National Monument, located atop the hill, where you can see the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.The tide pools are accessed from a windy road makings it way down the hill from the monument park.

There has been some concern that the thousands of visitors to Cabrillo National Monument have damaged the Point Loma Tide Pools. That is probably true, but the rocky shore at this park still has a lot to offer, and if you visit on a good low minus tide it will be worth the entrance fee.

Local Marine Life

In the mid-intertidal zone you can see very large Great Owl Limpets. Hermit crabs are abundant here. During a museum tide pool class for kids this last spring, a girl found a homeless hermit crab (no shell) and some other girls hunted for and found an empty snail shell.


Look only, don’t take anything. The Point Loma Tide Pools is policed by park rangers. The rangers are helpful and will explain marine life and help visitors observe the animals.


A free parking lot is located near the tide pools.