When Lisa and I were kids, Abalone Cove was where she went to study and I went to play volleyball. If there were sea caves, we were oblivious to them. We were there for entirely different reasons at the time. Fast forward to the 1980's and our caving brought us back when we were a part of the Southern California Sea Cave Survey. Fast forward again to December 13, 2012. Lisa had been watching the tides as we had been hiking to other sea caves in the area. On the day we chose the low tide was a negative 1.8 feet and it was a perfect time to go.
The first challenge was to find parking. Back in the 80's you could park across the street or in the neighborhoods to the north, but now everything is posted no parking without permit so beware of that. There is plenty of parking at a lot that charges at the trail head. Lisa and I will always try and avoid fees and only pay them when nothing else is available. Anyway, we parked and started the hike. The bluffs atop the cliffs were a vibrant green due to all the recent rains and luckily it was as clear as a bell. In the parking lot there are two trail heads; one takes you to an overlook and the other goes down the cliffs to the beach. We chose that one. The hike was very easy, and the elephants have marked the trail quite well. We in essence followed our noses and soon found ourselves on the beach taking in the view.
We continued on to the surge channel in front of the only cave that can be entered. It was exactly low tide and we had no trouble with the water being an issue. We explored taking pictures and video along the way. The cave itself was less than 50 feet deep, but the geology makes it worth the effort. On our way out, we were asked by a tourist to help them down the climb so they could take a picture at the entrance. Lisa said sure as long as they took one for us.
We left her to her own exploration and climbed up the south side of the surge channel to see the other cave in the point. The walk around the point was on a basalt shelf. It is full of tide pools if you have the time for that. You can access the cave from the bluff trail following it into the cove to the south of Abalone Cove, however we were there for photo opportunities and were not disappointed. Eventually our tourist friend and one of her friends joined us at the second cave and walked almost all the way back with us.
Total round-trip was an hour and 15 minutes from car to caves and back again.
We'd do it again in a heart beat.