Crystal Cove / Reef Point
Crystal Cove state park at Reef Point is not actually in Laguna Beach.
The area is located between Corona
Del Mar and Laguna Beach on Coast Highway (Highway 1), along coastal
bluffs as well as chaparral canyon on the inland side of the highway.
From Broadway in Laguna Beach travel north on Coast Highway about
4.3 miles until you get to the traffic light for Reef Point. At the
traffic light turn South (towards the beach) and enter the park.
Cove / Reef Point has several good sized parking lots and would even
be able to handle a good sized motor home. The parking / day use of
the park $15.00 per car and a yearly pass is just $195.00. There is
an entrance station where parking fees are paid. After entering the
turn to the left hand parking lot and proceed to the bathroom where
the telephone is (see facilities), this
is the closest to the beach access steps.
get to the beach walk along the path behind the bathroom. The path
takes you to the first set of steps made from railroad ties. They
are steep and there are over 100 of them. This takes you down to the
lower park of the steps made out of concrete and at the end of the
concrete there are another 12 steps out of railroad ties. This is
a big hike and is very steep. Please relax and take your time navigating
the staircase, with or without Scuba gear.
facilities at the Crystal Cove park at Reef Point feature a telephone,
bathrooms, changing rooms, showers and a countertop with sinks and
water. The published rules allow propane stoves. This is a nice area
to have a picnic. The rules also say to stay on the trails
and to stay off the cliff faces. You even need to be careful
while doing that, see below!
doing photo's I came across one of the local residents of the park.
This Rattlesnake was leisurely sunning itself on the pathway
in the park. BE CAREFUL this is a wilderness area and this type of
creature make their home in wilderness areas. Don't venture off of
the trails and don't let children or pets wander unescorted through
the park, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
at Crystal Cove / Reef Point. This cove has always been referred
to as Scotchman's cove by divers. In the park's own literature they
still call it Scotchman's Cove, but you don't see it indicated anywhere
else at the park. So, if you are looking through an older dive guide
(even some newer ones) and they talk about Scotchman's Cove, this
is the place. There are rocks, reef and great diving all around
this area. If you are on the beach looking at the water the rock
sticking out of the water to the right is an excellent choice. Make
sure that when you enter the water you do it from the beach area
to the east of the rock. If you enter close to the rock you find
that the bottom is very uneven, very shallow for a long ways with
lots of rocks that just love to bash your shins. If you enter from
the east side of the rock and swim out then over you can save yourself
some damage to your body and gear.
Crystal Cove State Park area has 3.5 miles of beach and 1100 acres
of off shore area designated as an underwater park. The entire CCSP
offshore area lies within the boundaries of the Irvine Coast Marine
Life Refuge. All tidepool specimens and marine life, with the exception
of certain fish and lobster are protected and may NOT be taken or
disturbed. The area is highly patrolled by lifeguards, rangers and
game wardens. Fish and game laws are strictly enforced.