New Trail for Visitors in 2023

At a Glance

Cabrillo National Monument Foundation is fundraising for a new trail at Cabrillo National Monument. A new hiking trail will provide safe pedestrian access from the upper monument down to the popular tidepool area. We are delighted to report substantial progress has been made, and the new trail is on track for visitor use by the end of 2023!

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Over the years, Park visitors have expressed a desire to safely walk from the upper area of the Park to the tidepool area in the lower area of the Park. Hiking to the tidepools is of particular interest during low tides when there is often no available parking in the tidepool area. No available parking increases congestion which results in closing vehicle access to the tidepool area.


This is more than a trail. There are health, safety and access, education, preservation and protection benefits to its creation.

Health – Many visitors and local community members hike to improve their health. The Trail would provide additional hiking opportunities and safe pedestrian access and use in this amazing urban National Park.

Safety & Access – Currently, the only safe way to access the tidepools is by vehicle. When the tidepool parking lots are full, particularly at low tide, many visitors are unable to access and enjoy this natural and beautiful treasure. Many visitors walk from the upper Park area down the road to the tidepools. The road has a steep gradient, no shoulder and no sidewalk.

The Trail will create a safe pathway for pedestrians to hike and access the tidepool area. Switchbacks will lessen the elevation gradient and benches will be installed for visitors to enjoy spectacular views of the new Point Loma Lighthouse, the tidepools, and the ocean. In the winter, the trail will provide additional vantage point for viewing the annual grey whale migration to lagoons in Mexico.

Education – Thousands of school children each year, many from underserved communities, are bussed to the Park. The Trail will provide additional interpretive and educational opportunities for youth to learn about the Park’s natural, historical, and cultural resources.

For self-guided visitors, the Trail will have wayside interpretive signs offered in braille, English, and Spanish. Additional educational opportunities offered at the Park will further spark creativity, interest in nature and science, and inspire the next generation of Park stewards.

CNMF funds Park education programs and accessibility improvements around the Park, visit “What We Fund” above to learn more about these impactful and enriching opportunities.

Preservation & Protection – The Trail will guide visitors on the specified pathway. This will protect and preserve the natural resources in the Park including endangered species such as Orcutt’s Spineflower, the California gnatcatcher, and the native landscape.

Social trails made by visitors are detrimental to the mission and beauty of the Park. With generous funding from the National Park Foundation Service Corps Grant, California Conservation Corps has already restored .51 acres of habitat required before construction of the Trail.


This project was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten opens in a new windowGRoW @ Annenberg, and the Hervey Family Fund.

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Trail is also made possible from generous contributions by

  • Buzz and Helen Kinnaird
  • Laub Family Trust
  • In Memory of Jim Lester
  • Eve and Jeff Jones-Burton
  • Allison and Robert Price Family Foundation Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation
  • The Brazell Family
  • Margaret R Seeley Charitable Foundation


and the below members and donors like you. Thank you.
(list is alpha order by last name)

  • Kazuyuki Abe
  • Heidi Acosta
  • Rosamaria Acuna, Berkshire Hathaway
  • Betty Amber, SWAF Foundation, In honor of Dorothy Epsten
  • Sylvia Bate-Swall
  • Eugene Bier
  • Judy and Richard Blum
  • Barry P. Boothe
  • Barbara Borchardt
  • Richard and Rosalie Bregante
  • Diana Brotherton-Ware
  • Peter and Virginia Buerger
  • Linda and Edgar Canada
  • Robb and Patricia Crowder
  • Mark and Karen Davis
  • Vicki Dugger
  • In Memory of Dr. Robert M. Epsten Jr.
  • John and Shari Erickson
  • Pamela Fairley
  • Kathleen Fine
  • Jill French
  • Abram and Margarita Garcia
  • Teresa Gase
  • Marilyn Gibbs & Les Williamson
  • Kathleen Golden
  • Elizabeth Gramoy and John K. O’Leary
  • James Hare and Betsy McCullough
  • Brian Hartley
  • The Harrington Family Fund
  • David A Hoban
  • Carol and Larry Holt
  • David Huffman and Elise Streicher
  • Laurie and Jim Hurl
  • Susie Jablinske
  • Allen Jones and Rebecca Michael
  • Joanne Kemp
  • Anne Kendall
  • Michael Kew
  • Laura Labak, Innolect Inc.
  • Ira D. Levine
  • Nee Wing Mah
  • Margaret Mann
  • Gay McDonald
  • Grant and Gerrie Mills
  • Alex and Jody Mincks
  • Michael and Barbara Morton
  • Michael Moser
  • Devona Newport
  • Robert and Julie Nydam
  • Chip Owen
  • Levent Oz, In memory of Sunduz Oz
  • Cynthia and Robert Pencek
  • Norma Plante
  • Andrew & Janice Rodrigues
  • Pamela Rose
  • Anne Rosser
  • Jo Anne Rummelhart D.D.S.
  • Patricia Rutledge
  • The San Diego Foundation
  • William Sardinha
  • Thomas and Kathy Sayer
  • Scarano Family Foundation
  • Patrick and Katherine Schultheis
  • John Schmitz
  • Bob Sharp
  • Mark Stephens
  • Stiefel Behner Charitable Fund
  • Stipanov Mebane Family Charitable Fund
  • Elizabeth Swift
  • Sypkens Family Charitable Fund
  • Lt. Col Peter Lee Tancredi, USA (Ret)
  • Amy Vaughn
  • Jordan Waldman
  • Allan and Paula Wasserman
  • Peggy Watson
  • Mark Weatherup
  • Josh and Sally Weinman
  • Michael and Deborah Whitehurst
  • Sandra Woodhouse
  • In honor of Mike and Rose Veal
  • Pamela Zuckerman


January 2023

Happy New Year! Thank you to all those who supported our TRAILblazer campaign and year end appeal. Your generosity has put us about $70,000 away from our $400,000 fundraising goal, which we hope to accomplish by June 30.

November 2022

Cabrillo National Monument Foundation highlighted the new trail in its annual appeal called the TRAIL-a-thon. The goal is to complete the $400,000 fundraising goal by June 30, 2023. We encourage those interested in being named as a contributor to the new trail to participate. All funders of the new trail will be acknowledged as Trailblazers, invited to trail related events, receive trail updates, and be recognized below.

September 30, 2022

We are delighted to report substantial progress has been made towards the new trail and is on track for visitor use by the end of 2023!

Local communities, the tourism industry, and the media are keenly interested in the expansion of recreation opportunities, so the Park is diligently working to ensure the project moves along according to schedule.

With donor support, trail preparation work began in Spring 2022. Archeologists completed required cultural resource surveys and assessments for both prehistoric and historic resources. Additional cultural resources work is in progress. Vegetation removal, funded by the National Park Foundation, in partnership with San Diego Urban Corps, began clearing the path for the trail this summer. Salvage for native plants has already been initiated, and plants will be carefully grown in the park greenhouse for use in restoration projects throughout the park; this saves thousands of dollars compared to purchasing them as well as protects genetics of the plant communities. Work will continue into 2023 with trail construction led by the Joshua Tree National Park Trail Crew.

We have raised over $262,000 towards the new trail thanks to generous support from donors and members. This fiscal year, we will be focused on raising an additional $150,000 to complete the trail such as safety and protection elements for the natural resources and our visitors, and educational elements to enhance the visitor experience on the trail.

opens in a new windowAs park stewards, we hope you will make a donation in support of the new trail and the signifcant opportunities it will provide to enhance the visitor experience for generations.

February 2022

Joshua Tree National Park Trail Crew assisted Cabrillo National Monument staff with flagging the final route of the trail corridor. Cabrillo Resources Management staff ensured the route protects endangered plant species and reduces erosion.



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National Park Service
Cabrillo National Monument
Trail Management Plan and Environmental Assessment
September 2019 | Available upon request to emily@cnmf.orgcreate new email

Cabrillo National Monument Foundation


Emily M Moore
Executive Director, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation
619-523-4255 office
emily@cnmf.orgcreate new email