Point Pinos on a Winter Afternoon

Opening to heaven

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Under threatening gray thunderheads come the storm waves, dancing and leaping headlong, one after another, white foam streaking jade sea, rushing toward the rocks ... one burst of spray, then another, then an explosion, up, up, up to the sky, then receding, revealing the dark gray granite spines of the headland.

The smell of salt, smell of algae and mussels covering rocky flanks season the ocean breeze. And all around, there's the thunder of surf, the boom, the artillery report of water against stone.

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Spindrift and surf, Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA Pinnacle and surf, Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA Sea and sky, Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA

Iím on Point Pinos, where the granite of the Monterey Peninsula extends into the sea, in direct opposition to the swells sweeping in from the northwest. During medium or high tide, thigh-deep cold seawater blocks your way to the point. But it was low tide on this stormy February afternoon, and Point Pinos was freely accessible.


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Pacific Grove shore, Monterey Peninsula CA Cormorants and surf, Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA Sand, rocks, sea and sky, Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA

The wave bursts on the outermost pinnacle can be spectacular even from Ocean View Boulevard, the meandering two-lane shoreside drive. In fact, during high surf theyíre visible across the bay on the Sand City shore, approximately five air miles to the east. But out on the point, youíll have a supreme view of the pinnacle and the storm waves, trailing streamers of spray.

Point Pinos can be a scramble in places. Wear comfortable shoes with good tread, and check the times of high and low tide before you venture out onto the rocks. You donít want a cold-water wade between you and home.


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Between waves, Point Pinos, Monterey County CA Infinity Looking south from Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA


Located in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula, Point Pinos is approximately two freeway hours south of San Francisco, and six to seven freeway hours north of Los Angeles. Itís along Ocean View Blvd. as the roadway follows the curve of the shore between Asilimar Avenue and Lighthouse Avenue. Unless the surf is especially rough, you can park in any of several roadside pull-outs.

This map shows Point Pinosí general location. The map allows you to expand the view outward, to allow you to see Point Pinosí location in relation to California, the USA, the continent and even the world.

Please note that the red star on the map marks the intersection of Ocean View Blvd. with Asilomar Avenue. Point Pinos is to the west (left) of that intersection. If you change the map view to ďAerial Map,Ē youíll notice a finger of rock extending from the peninsula. Thatís Point Pinos.

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Gull and Canada Geese, Point Pinos, Monterey County CA Point Pinos Lighthouse, Monterey Peninsula CA Surf, Point Pinos, Monterey Peninsula CA


The Pacific Grove Golf Links borders the landward side of Ocean View Blvd. Look beyond the fairways for the historic Point Pinos Lighthouse. Dating from February 1, 1855, itís said to be the oldest continuously operated lighthouse on the West Coast.



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