Welcome to the Cabrillo National Monument Information Page. Here you will find all you need to know about the natural history of the park. Learn about the geology, trees, mammals, birds, or other plants and wildlife of the area.
Cabrillo National Monument was originally established in 1974 as a U.S. National Recreation Area. In 2000 it was re-designated a U.S. National Park by Congress. It sees more than three million visitors a year, making it the fifth most visited national park according to the U.S. National Park. The park also offers an excellent look into the Industrial Revolution. It offers visitors the chance to learn about the Ohio & Erie Canal, which was a crucial part of trading and commerce in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cabrillo National Monument also has a number of sustainable farms that provide a good look into the agricultural history of the valley.
On the western side of Point Loma lies the rocky intertidal zone, a window into the ocean ecosystem that lies along of San Diego's coast. During periods of low tide, pools form along this shore in rocky depressions. In them you may see flowery anemones, elusive octopi, spongy deadman's fingers, and a myriad of other creatures. The tidepools are a wonderful discovery zone, but be careful if you visit. The intertidal area is a very sensitive ecosystem. Few animals in this ecosystem can harm humans, but many animals are sensitive, and can even be killed, when handled or just touched by humans. Ask a ranger or volunteer how you can best explore the tidepools without harming them.
Cabrillo National Monument is rich in wildlife. Snakes and lizard species include the western fence lizard and side-blotched lizard. Striped racer and San Diego gopher snakes live in the park, as well as the Pacific Rattlesnake. Cabrillo National Monument's sole amphibian is the Garden Slender Salamander. Resembling a large earthworm, these elusive species are more active on wet winter nights and hard to find at other times of year. Among the mammals which make their home in the park include gray foxes, cottontails, squirrels, and raccoons. The seldom seen desert shrew lives within Cabrillo National Monument. Cabrillo National Monument is also home to a small population of bats, including some bats of the Mexican long-tongued bat species.
Cabrillo National Monument is a rich environment for bird watching. Shorebirds, hummingbirds, and Chapparal birds are found in abundance. Common shorebirds seen in Cabrillo include Great Blue Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, Brown Pelicans, Sanderings, Willets, Spotted Sandpipers, and a variety of gull species. Of the monument's hummingbird species some migrate while others are year-round residents. Anna's Hummingbirds live in the pary year-round while Allen's and rufous hummingbirds are migratory species.
Maple, oak, birch, beech and hemlock trees. Look for many different types of wildflowers, including Ohio spiderwort, wild hyacinth, trillium, showy orchid, pink lady's-slipper, purple wood-sorrel, violets, wild blue phlox and Indian paintbrush. These are only a few of more than 250 species that grow in Ohio.