Carmel Valley

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Best Trails

Point Lobos State Marine Reserve

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Point Lobos State Marine Reserve is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

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  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Carmel River Trail
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

3/15/14 - From Los Padres Dam to Carmel River Camp - 11 miles r/t. Stayed one night with my 10 yr old daughter. She loved the trail and playing in the river. Great hike with a few Difficult spots but I mostly consider this as a Moderate hike. Reservoir was full as opposed to a few weeks ago when it looked 30' lower than tree line. The river crossings were all rock hoppers and the poison oak is a bit encroaching onto some sections. Overall really nice and the no fire order had been lifted about a week before we went so a nice small evening fire was nice.

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Garland Ranch Waterfall Trail
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Visitors Center-Lupine-Waterfall-Mesa-Oak View Loop-Mesa-Deer-Fern-Mesa-Lupine-Visitors Center.

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Waterfall Trail
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3 Completed 3 Reviews

The Waterfall Trail is inside Garland Ranch. It is a beginners hike. It will get you breathing a little hard because of the incline, but it's not a killer by any means.

As the name implies a Waterfall you would expect a Waterfall. If you are expecting one, don't be because I've never seen one there before. If you go immediately after it rains you may or may not see a dribble going down the cliff.

If you want to see an actual Waterfall you will have to go to Big Sur or Kahn Ranch (in Carmel Valley). The Waterfalls in Monterey County are not powerful ones that you see in movies so don't be expecting much.

While you are hiking the Waterfall Trail I would recommend hiking up the the Mesa (you can get a map at the Visitor Center at Garland Ranch). Also check out the three points that Garland Ranch features.

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Carmel River Trail
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Great hike to recon some overnight spots for the near future. Started at 9a with my daughter and headed out to see the Bluff campsite and Carmel River campsite. Easy trail to follow, one creek crossing over a log and one rock-hopping river crossing. Doable now but most rocks we used would be covered with some rain. If so, wading knee deep would be possible. Two trails leave the Bluff area (clean and empty and a total of 4 sites, all empty today) across the river but one ends upstream 100 yds (just a water access trail). The other trail heads up over a small pass and you enter the Ventana Wilderness/Los Padres National Forest (sign post). The Carmel River campsite has 2 large camp areas and was empty today. Will definitely come back for a 2 night trip. Was 11 miles r/t from dam parking area.

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Garland Ranch Waterfall Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

If you don't go on sky trail your missing out

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Garzas Canyon to Redwood Canyon Trail
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Another great 9 mile trip from the visitor center. Here's my route sequence: Car bridge-Lupine-Mesa-Garzas-Redwood-Terrace-Garzas-Mesa-Hawkeye-Fern-Mesa-Lupine-Visitor center. Solo trip, my daughter was sick.

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Garzas Canyon to Redwood Canyon Trail
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Started from the Garland visitor center making this a 9 mile loop. 1st time to Garzas and happy I finally made it here with my daughter. The steep canyon walls and huge redwoods were amazing. Great trails to choose from in this area, something for everybody.

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Lupine Loop
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Took the family on this quick easy hike then had a picnic. Great for small kids!

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Snivley's Ridge - Sky Loop
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Great hike this morning with my daughter! Definitely a difficult venture but with plenty of water and determination on this 80 degree winter day, we made up to the top to see the awesome panoramic views.

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Waterfall - Mesa Loop
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12 Completed 16 Reviews

Fun hike that is overall pretty easy starting out at visitor center heading southeast toward the waterfall trail (very dry winter, so no water yet). Up a few inclines and trail stairs and took the Vaquero trail a bit higher and cut across Mesa to the pond. Down Mesa trail to Lupine Loop and northwest over to check out the historic barn. There are lots of options to extend the hike by taking many intersecting trails. We ended up with 4.6 miles total. Had a nice snack at a picnic table near visitor center. My 10 yr old daughter loved it as we are staying in good hiking shape during the Tahoe backpacking off-season.

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