Alligator Head La Jolla Cove 1953 2

by Mindy Flanagan, Owner, Tour Freely

Were you around to see this natural rock formation located at La Jolla Cove Beach? As my husband was rifling through old family photos, he found this photo below of La Jolla Cove beach that his dad had taken in 1953 with his Kodachrome slide film camera while picnicking at Ellen Browning Scripps Park and La Jolla Cove beach. This photo shows Cove Beach looking South.

Only a few swimmers appear to be navigating the waters, there were no seals or birds visible, and the fence on the bluff had not yet been built. But the most salient feature is how the ”Alligator Head” arch juts out from the bluff with a person or two sitting (picnicking?) right over the arch. The lighting in the photo highlights the appearance of the alligator’s head with the arch taking on the appearance of the neck of the alligator. So that was 1953 and 25 years later the history books tell us that a winter storm in 1978 caused the collapse of the Ark.

The photo below was taken in 2020 and shows the effect of 42 years of wave erosion.

Alligator Head2 Lajolla Cove Arch 2019.12.11 15 38 50 600x192Maybe the beauty of the La Jolla scenery touched my father-in-law some 70 years ago in a way that inspired my husband and me to launch our first GPS-guided walking tour in La Jolla. La Jolla is home to many memorable landmarks and expansive breath-taking vistas and a GPS-based audio tour is one of the best ways to soak it all in, where you can follow your passion, not a tour guide.

To learn more about La Jolla, check out Tour Freely’s GPS-guided walking tour HERE. This tour, recently recognized with Badge of Excellence by Viator, is available on-demand for $9.99, by simply downloading the tour app.