Our first hike of the day was at Moss Landing Harbor. Much of the hike was actually on the beach along the coast.
Shane and Eliza lagging behind. It was a gorgeous morning for walking the beach.
It’s hard to tell in this picture but there were a lot of surfers out there. The water is really cold here (low 50’s this time of year) so they were in their full body wet suits. Some of them even had wet suit hoods.
There’s just something about being near the ocean. It’s impossible to be stressed. The fresh air, the sounds, the smell of salt water. Makes me think I need to make more of effort to take the kids to the beach when I’m feeling overwhelmed with responsibility.
Eliza loves the sand.
There were so many birds sitting on this… jetty? Caleb, of course, felt compelled to scare them all off. But he didn’t make it. The rocks were more difficult to climb than they looked.
I joined him and then quickly realized that my Merrell minimalist shoes were not good for rock climbing. Also, I later noticed a sign that said beware of waves and stay off the rocks. Woopsy!
The harbor and there are birds and sea lions resting on the bank.
We saw a sea lion swimming very close to shore and Caleb ran after it. I tried to get a better shot, but couldn’t. I’d definitely like to go back and spend more time watching the otters and sea lions.
The second hike was at Moss Landing Wildlife Area, which is on the inland side of Hwy 1. I would never have thought this to be a public access area since there is what looks to be an abandoned building and several boats parked near the entrance. Another moment that made me glad I bought the hiking book.
The immediately started exploring. I love that I don’t have to instigate exploration. I’m very grateful to have curious kids.
There were two observation decks. Just need to watch where the kids put their hands. The birds have “painted” the railings quite well.
There were plenty of sea lions and otters on this side of the river also.
Here is a patch of mud that looked dried out so when Caleb asked if he could walk out there I said “sure”.
The poor kid ended up slipping and fell. He was in tears but I luckily was able to smooth things over by convincing him that it’s more important that he’s adventurous and tried it out.
When he noticed me taking this picture he said “You better not put that on your blog!”
Good thing I had packed a bunch of baby wipes. I think it’s a good idea to keep them in my pack even after Eliza is out of diapers.
Not the most gorgeous scenery that Monterey County has to offer, but for a quick and easy hike for little ones, I think this will be hard to beat.
These are hikes #13 and #14 from my Monterey Hikes list.
Moss Landing State Beach
Hiking distance: 2.6 miles round trip (although we didn’t do the entire way)
Hiking time: We were out there for about 45 minutes mostly exploring not hiking
Elevation gain: level
Exposure: open coast
strong>Would you do it again? Yes, just for the sea lion and otter viewing.
Moss Landing State Wildlife Area
Hiking distance: 0.8 miles round trip
Hiking time: 45 minutes (but we were dawdling)
Elevation gain: level
Exposure: open wetland
strong>Would you do it again? Yes, it would be a nice short stop if we were doing a day trip out past Santa Cruz
Hiking buddies: the entire family (minus Coco)
What would you do differently? I wish I’d had a plastic bag to throw the dirty wipes away from Caleb’s fall.
Best for… a family hike.