Carmel California is the ultimate vacation destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. Situated right on the Central coast next to Monterey Bay, the alluring white sand beaches stretch for miles creating great scenic walking paths. Carmel also features other dramatic landscapes including valleys, canyons, and towering mountains.

Carmel River Beach Trail

Carmel River Beach Trail

 

The small town is surrounded with excellent options for hiking to enjoy the greatness of nature in its purest form. There are too many great hiking trails to name, so here are a few of the best in the area.

 
Cypress Grove Trail

Located in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, the Cypress Grove Trail is 0.8 miles long and accessible year-round to hikers of all skill levels. This trail is frequently the favorite of visitors to Point Lobos with its dramatic ocean views from the cliffs and impressive wooded areas.

It goes through one of only two remaining naturally growing stands of Monterey cypress trees. The ocean views allow visitors to see an array of local sea lions and sea otters in their natural habitats. Views from the clifftop overlook numerous rocky coves and offshore islands.

Evidence of the local woodrats may be seen in the forests by visitors who carefully watch for their houses made of piled twigs.

 

Redwood Canyon Trail

Redwood Canyon Trail

 

 

Redwood Canyon Trail

Redwood Canyon Trail is located in Garland Ranch Regional Park – the favorite hiking spot in Carmel Valley. This is a moderate skill level hiking trail spanning a total of

3.5 miles. It can take several hours to complete so visitors should arrive prepared for the trek. The trail conveniently connects to others in the park for an easy change of route if desired. It begins in a marvelous oak grove with wildflowers and some redwood trees with ferns below. With a winding descent and four instances of crossing Garzas Creek, the wide array of plant life is apparent from the visible varieties of fern, maidenhair, and polypody. The creek is surrounded by wonderful woodlands including willow, bigleaf maple, sycamore, alder, and toyon.

 

 
Soberanes Canyon Trail

Just south of Carmel Highlands in Garrapata State Park, this trail provides seven miles of hiking beginning with the first stretch along Rocky Ridge Trail. This trail is more enjoyable for the experienced or extremely adventurous hikers with its great elevation gain and descent on the return. Views from atop the ridge include the expanses beyond Soberanes Point and the Monterey Peninsula.

The descent to Soberanes Canyon Trail is dramatic but well worth the effort when it concludes at Soberanes Creek and enters the redwoods with numerous types of vegetation alongside the path. When the trail calms, it passes willow, watercress, horsetail, and mission cactus as it returns to the starting destination.

Carmel River Beach Trail

As part of Carmel River State Beach, this 2-mile trail follows Carmel River out to Carmel River State Beach and hugs the coast until it reaches Monastery Beach. The trail offers great views of Carmel and Point Lobos as it moves closer to the ocean. By staying on the coastal trail, visitors approach a narrower path to a pleasant picnic area and then come to the long-awaited view of Carmel River Lagoon. Here there are many species of waterfowl including mallards, egrets, and hawks overhead.

 

It is also possible to spot the great blue heron, the brown pelican, and other rare birds. This more calming trail is a great chance to follow the river and beaches out to witness some of the most unique wildlife in the region.

Mission Trail Park

Mission Trail Park is the largest park in Carmel spreading over 35 acres. The main trail is also the longest, named Serra Trail, and it features meadows and grasslands, oaks, pines, eucalyptus, and redwoods. The wonders of nature surprise visitors with the swamp grasses and reeds, the small local wildlife and the amazing canopy of Monterey pines. Expanding across the park from Mountain View Avenue to Carmel Mission, this trail shows a finely maintained and undisturbed portion of nature in Carmel.

The beauty of Carmel is perhaps inconceivable for anyone who has not witnessed it for themselves. The Carmel landscape goes far and wide along hiking trails for beginners or experienced hikers. Follow the creeks and winding rivers through dense forests of native Monterey pines and spot wildlife throughout the extensive woodlands. Choose the most appealing hiking trail and plan a memorable trek through Carmel.

 
 

 

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