Soberanes Canyon Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Soberanes Canyon Trail is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

4.7 miles 1795 feet Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

The most spectacular part of the hike is through the Soberanes Canyon where the trail is flanked on both sides by impressive redwoods. Once you leave the redwoods and get above treeline, it isn't the immediate scenery that captivates, but rather the panoramic views. These views are typically obscured facing west due to the blanket of fog and mist that unfolds over the coast. Turn your back 180 degrees and you are likely greeted by sunlit views of Carmel valley. Talk about a dichotomy.

3 months ago

Missing one of my favorite places....Fastest time for me was 1:03 I was so close to breaking an hour

3 months ago

One of the best trails ever. The views are majestic. It's quite hard.

hiking
3 months ago

This is my favorite trail in the whole world. It's challenging but well worth it. Make sure you have great shoes with good threads or be prepared to slide down the mountain. It can also get cold and windy any time of the year. Dogs are NOT allowed -- please respect the signs.

hiking
3 months ago

The northern side of the trail is very washed out, we went counter clockwise around the trail and came down on that side. It may be easier to go up that direct as it was hard to get a good foothold while coming down. Over half of the trail is in the sun so be prepared. There was also an almost vertical climb down in the redwoods.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Second time doing the loop and the second time was a lot easier!! Great hiking Trail! The Ocean breeze is amazing

4 months ago

Great mix of red wood trees, open barren hills and nice little streams. It can be strenuous hike for a non experienced hiker. The view from the highest point which is close to 1880 feet is amazing. Do carry a lot of water as during summer days you will get dehydrated really fast during the climb. You will also find tons of lizards, cactus and poison ivy, so be careful.

hiking
4 months ago

Once at the top , the views are killer! Beautiful everywhere you look. Definitely need good shoes and a lot of water! There are some VERY steep spots .

hiking
5 months ago

It was fun. Definitely, a good workout.

5 months ago

This is such beautiful hike but can be difficult. The Rocky Ridge Trail is badly eroded so be careful coming down. Still lots of wildflowers both top and bottom. Brinig lots of water and be mindful of cooling the dog if you bring it.

5 months ago

The trail was rough on some parts but doable. The view was so worth it!

5 months ago

Make sure to wear good shoes! Hike was steep in the beginning but it's doable. Gorgeous view coming back down. Definitely worth the pain!

6 months ago

Hard hike for an East coast hiker who's use to shade the whole time. I recommend going clockwise for the loop so you are in the forest and shade at the end of the hike vs getting blasted with sun when you go clockwise and are tired. Decent will be steep either way.

Poison oak was pretty prevalent in the lower area and my wife and I missed the right off the main road to start the loop so we hiked and extra 1/2 mile through it

6 months ago

steep, challenging hike but fantastic views.
make certain to do the full loop or you will miss the forested half that goes along the river.
WARNING: wear proper hiking boots and a walking stick as descents can be very difficult to maintain footing.

hiking
6 months ago

I really like this trail because there are spots in it where there are separate trails that branch off of the main one that are a little harder and they're a lot of fun if you're up for it! it gets kinda sketchy at parts but as long as you're careful it's all good. and the view is really awesome!!!

hiking
6 months ago

I'm not sure how the others did it, but my attempt at the trail today (5/25/16) was impassible due to poison oak. It had encroached on either side of the trail, I went through it for about a quarter of a mile but it looked like it was getting worse and more overgrown. The trail was somewhat distinguished, but I did not want to risk getting poision oak by wading through the stuff. Note: there are currently no trail closures or advisories out for the current state of Rocky Ridge Trail. If you want to avoid getting poison oak, I would avoid taking Rocky Ridge Trail at the moment.

hiking
6 months ago

this hike is absolutely gorgeous. I've gone 4 times, twice by myself and they were all lovely experiences. someone told me that sometimes there are rattlesnakes there so beware.

6 months ago

The most beautiful hike yet!! I went in March. It was raining and not a human in site. I thought it was pretty easy but so much nature to take in :)

hiking
6 months ago

This is a great hike, and it makes your want to put on your best shoes for it. The entrance at the hike says the mid section of the hike is closed - but we still went through it.

The hike is worn out, and eroded in the canyons - but nothing that good shoes and good legs can't get you through. The mid sections is open to the sun and we did it during the noon and go scorched. Carry a lot of water and keep an eyes out for the geckos, lest you should squash em under your feet (read: many geckos darting like arrows here and there). We also saw a snake on our way up.

The view from the top is spectacular, and makes the hike worth it. The descent is a bit too steep and you can run down it - but being careful about where you step while running down. Overall a solid sub 5 mi hike, with a difficult which makes it feel like a 7 mi one.

Would I do it again? Hell yes!

hiking
6 months ago

I broke my ankle a few weeks ago when my husband and I decided to start the loop hike on the Soberness Canyon Trail then connect onto the Rocky Ridge trail. Soberanes trail connects to the Rocky Ridge Trail at the top of the mountain. Rocky Ridge trail is steeper, mostly washed out, and has dangerous crevices. Right after the bench at the top is where the decline gets steep and where I BROKE MY ANKLE IN 3 SPOTS! It almost forces you to run, so be careful and slow yourself down. It took us almost 3 hours to get down off that mountain! My husband had to practically carry me down (very steep I remind you) and so he is my new hero. On our treacherous, painful and slow descent we ran into a hiker by the name of Lee (I think that was his name) who was very well prepared and kind. He offered me water, electrolytes and an ace bandage! I hope he reads this post some day as I want to thank him for helping us out!! He also offered to help carry me down. THANK YOU LEE!!! There was one other hiker who offered me a walking stick. I'll never forget these 2 men who were kind, generous and helpful. Our next stop was Monterey Community Hospital's ER!! Now I am back at home looking at all the spectacular pics I took during this very long, painful recovery! My only word of advice: be prepared and don't wear tennis shoes! This hike is intense and not for the faint of heart. The views are spectacular and breathtaking! One of the most beautiful spots in the world!