Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Other California: Limekiln State Park, Part 1

What is the Other California? It's been a little while since I've posted on the subject, so here's what it is: an exploration of the lesser known places of our beautiful state, the places that you don't find on the postcards all that often; the places you visit when you've checked off that list of must-see spots like Yosemite or Death Valley. In today's post, we are taking a look at an interesting little beach in the southern part of the Big Sur Coast country: Limekiln State Park.

It's easy to miss while winding down the highway; focus too much on getting to the famous parks at the north end of Highway 1, and you might not see the turnoff at all. There is barely any parking available, so the beach is uncrowded. It's different from a lot of beaches in California; it has a good-sized creek that has littered the beach with large boulders of very attractive metamorphic and plutonic rocks. Does anyone see a face in the cliff?
Despite the late August visit, there was a lot of water for a central California River. A lot of them are dry by now. The mountains upstream reach a mile above sea level, and they catch a lot of rainfall. Enough sinks into the ground that springs keep the river flowing year-round. The babbling brook contrasts nicely with the crashing waves. I had a delightful time looking at chunks of gneiss, schist, marble, and granitic rock.
Highway 1 passes the park on a high bridge. Looking upstream, we can see that there might be a bit more to this park than a beach. For one thing, why in the world do they call it 'Limekiln'? What secrets lie up the the canyon? Keep an eye out for part 2!


Gaelyn said...

I believe I've been to this little gem on the beach. During one long journey of exploration down the coast on Hwy 1 I must have stopped at every semi-wide spot possible. Look forward to the inland parts.

KC said...

Park is one of my favorites. The waterfall is gorgeous and it's a fun hike to it as well as the kilns.