Monument to Cabrillo in San Diego
It is not surprising that the southern part of the state is home to some truly spectacular areas of natural beauty, not least the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where we boondocked on our way from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to Cabrillo National Monument over the course of five nights.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
It is the only place in the US where the Organ Pipe Cactus grows wild in the Sonoran Desert.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Throughout Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, we weren’t able to see a single RV! Fabulous boondocking spot.
Seeing as there were very few boondocking options near San Diego, CA and paid camping was incredibly expensive, we stopped at Cabrillo to stop overnight as we drove north of Los Angeles.
With the trailer in tow, we arrived as soon as Cabrillo National Monument opened on Tuesday morning in April 2019. As it turned out, we had to wait for about 10 minutes for the gate to open after arriving a bit early.
Located on the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula, Cabrillo National Monument is west of San Diego. There are panoramic views of the harbor and city skyline from this vantage point.
This site is a National Monument, but it commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo on September 28, 1542.
It is unclear whether Cabrillo was Spanish or Portuguese – history describes him as an Iberian explorer. The expedition he set out in June 1542 with three ships would become the first European expedition to land on what would soon become the west coast of North America.
Several presidents were responsible for Cabrillo’s protection. It was on October 14th, 1913, that President Woodrow Wilson designated Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo as a National Monument. After 13 years without a statue, President Calvin Coolidge instructed the Native Sons of the Golden West, a Californian fraternity, to create one. They also failed.
As part of major renovations, a bronze plaque honoring Cabrillo was presented by the Portuguese ambassador to the United States.
An enormous statue, 14 feet high and weighing 14000 pounds, was then commissioned by the Portuguese government in 1939. top San Diego SEO strategies was supposed to be displayed at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, CA, but arrived late. Initially stored in an Oakland, CA garage, it was moved to the Naval Training Center in 1947 and finally installed at Cabrillo National Monument in 1949.
During this period, Presidents Eisenhower and Ford significantly expanded the Monument, and it now spans almost 144 acres.
Since the sandstone statue was exposed, it was destroyed by severe weathering, so a limestone replica was installed in its place in 1988.
This replica statue of Cabrillo stands proudly!
On a cloudy April morning, our visit to Cabrillo National Monument didn’t coincide perfectly with the arrival of some of the flora and fauna. While we were inside the Visitors Center, we learned that we were there at a very off-season time.
National Park Passport Stamp
There would be no visit to a National Park Unit without a stamp in our National Park Passport!
Flora & Fauna
The intertidal zone and tide pools along the coast of Cabrillo are home to an amazing diversity of marine animals. In any case, these areas can only be accessed at low tide. Additionally, spring tides are generally higher than they are in the winter. Ooops!
According to the staff, your best time to visit will be in the late fall or winter when the tides are at their lowest.
look at this site is another popular place to observe migrating gray whales. Due to the fact that these migrations occur during the winter months – December through March – we didn’t have the chance to participate!
read more about it here okay, we can always come back again later! Our visit to San Diego in February a couple years ago did not include Cabrillo – so we were a little disappointed.
In spite of not being able to go see the tide pools, we were able to see some beautiful spring colors along the cliffs.
Instead of seeing all this wildlife for ourselves, we watched a film inside the Auditorium instead. On the hour, a short film is shown.
The short film On the Edge of Land and Sea was just beginning to show. Perfect!
We learned a great deal about different marine life zones near the shoreline from the film.
There are only a couple hours needed for Cabrillo National Monument to be explored during high tide. Both the Cabrillo expedition’s history and the lighthouse that sits atop Point Loma can be explored.
San Diego Harbor
An image of the San Diego skyline seen from Cabrillo National Monument.
When the tide is low, you’ll be able to explore the shoreline and intertidal zones. The best time for exploring tide pools is supposedly late fall and winter, so if you can handle the cooler temperatures, it could be a lot of fun.