Cerro Cabrillo, or Cabrillo Peak

Elevation 911 feet. 
Named after Juan Cabrillo, it is located within the section of Morro Bay State Park bordered by Turri Road, South Bay Blvd., and Chorro Creek.

On June 1, 2001, Docent  Curt Beebe and Mike Baird explored Cerro Cabrillo to investigate the possible presence of a mountain lion.

The photos below document the event.  (Click to enlarge)

Docent Dr. Curt Beebe, and Mike Baird, explored the west side of Cerro Cabrillo, up to the peak of Cabrillo west (Cabrillo is made up of two peaks, called here "west" and "east") and over to the peak of Cabrillo east, in search of evidence of a mountain lion.  Curt states that...

"A year ago [2000] I explored the west ridge of Cerro Cabrillo on three occasions, in order to study the distribution of poison-oak.  On the third trip I discovered mountain lion tracks; scats; and a partly eaten deer carcass.  I had been looking for a companion since, in order to safely visit the area again." 

On this exploration, he was better prepared to deal with a possible mountain lion encounter, by having a hiking companion, and some special "equipment."

Starting off in the "quarry trail" parking lot (map) on South Bay Blvd., Curt donned a face mask to the back of his head ( a technique reported to be successful for keeping a mountain lion from attacking by surprise from behind), curt-beebe-readies-for-mountian-lion800x600.jpg (121617 bytes) and packed his compressed-air horn in a ready pocket.  Armed with heavy clothing and foot "gators" we made our way through thick brush on paths known previously only to unknown wild animals. curt-beebe-face-mask-to-ward-off-mt-lion800x600.jpg (115895 bytes) Heading up the west side of Cabrillo, views of the Estuary estuary-from-cabrillo-westside800x600.jpg (92440 bytes) and Black Hill blackhill-from-cabrillo800x600.jpg (98033 bytes) were seen.  Curt is framed here by Sticky Monkey Flowers curt-beebe-on-west-side-cabrillo800x600.jpg (192296 bytes), just one of many beautiful flowers and ferns ferns-at-altitude-dry-location-on-cabrillo800x600.jpg (229259 bytes) encountered.  Crawling through very dense brush, and under low Oak trees (where we hoped to find a lair) [no photos were taken of these due to the difficulty in "walking" and photographing at the same time] we emerged near the peak mike-baird-on-cabrillos-westside800x600.jpg (122330 bytes) of the west side of Cerro Cabrillo.  Heading east, we encountered a very large birds nest (or at least we thought it was a bird's nest) mike-w-giant-bird-nest-cabrillo-westside600x800.jpg (152607 bytes) several feet across, with an almost foot-wide hole in the center. curt-beebe-examining-unknown-nest-cabrillowest800x600.jpg (217390 bytes) Here is a close up of the nest, closeup-nest-west-cabrillo800x600.jpg (276370 bytes) and here is a detailed shot showing the "weave" structure (approximately 8 inch field-of-view here) macro-closeup-nest-west-cabrillo800x600.jpg (209152 bytes).   If anyone knows what animal made this, please e-mail us.  Proceeding east, we saw Cabrillo east, and Hollister Peak in the distance cabrillo-west-looking-to-cabrillo-east-and-holister800x600.jpg (120514 bytes) cabrillo-east-w-hollister-behind-from-cabrillo-west-cb800x600.jpg (105009 bytes).  To our left (north), the Chorro Flats Floodplain was visiblechorro-plains-sediment-capture-plains-from-cabrillo800x600.jpg (150540 bytes).  Arriving at the very peak of Cerro Cabrillo, Curt relaxes curt-beebe-ontopof-cabrillo-east-highest-point800x600.jpg (94095 bytes) and enjoys the views at the 911 feet elevation cerro-cabrillo-overlooking-morrobay-smaller.jpg (61891 bytes), before the return via the traditional east trail, past tiki-rock-small-at-cerro-cabrillo-in-morro-bay.jpg (20690 bytes) Tike Rock, and through many small brown, and black, lizards, including this black species black-lizzard.jpg (114094 bytes), the presence of which seemed to be more common above 700 feet.