Explore the best trails near Carmel Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Great, leisurely hike with young children. Gather acorns along the way and mash them up with a rock at the big stone they have that the Native Americans used. My kids loooooved this. See photos. Look for the buckeye seeds and acorns. My 6 year old was thrilled. Really interesting signs that educate about the plants and the brilliant methods employed by the native Americans to use the plants. Watch out for poison oak. Also, half way through the trail you have to walk for a few hundred yards on the Mesa trail to continue on to the buckeye trail.
We took our three kids on a hike weaving through the buckeye nature trail to the waterfall. Things are dry right now because of the drought and therefore, no waterfall. However, the dry basin under the area where the water usually falls was very interesting for my children. The nature trail was interesting and gave really cool facts about Native American acorn and buckeye uses. Lots of people with dogs. Great place to hike with dogs and kids. Getting to the waterfall is QUiCK! Not 3 miles. However, you can keep hiking up beyond it.
Lupine to Waterfall to Mesa back to Lupine= 4.5 miles with the family! 6yr old fared well considering. 12 and 16 yr olds semi jogged and hiked and dragged. Was nice to run downhill Mesa Trail. Caught just a trickle from the Waterfall but scenic nonetheless! Highly recommended: (with a couple pocketfuls of almonds and 40 oz water at least).
Michaela P. on Garland Ranch Waterfall Trail
Nice hike. No waterfall to see right now.
We hiked this trail with 4 adults and 4 kids under the age of 5 (granted, none of the children walked the entire way). It had a few modest inclines and declines and offered spectacular views of the valley and the redwoods were amazing. All season bridges we passable, even with moderate rain fall in recent weeks. This trail is definitely a keeper for us.
Did a 20-mile roundtripper from Los Padres dam up the Carmel River trail, to the apparently now-defunct Puerto Suello trail (it's on my Trails Illustrated but not on Alltrails!), then down the Ventana and Big Pines Trails. Really beautiful area. The trails can be tough to follow at time, as they're really overgrown in places, but the views make up for it. From the Ventana Trail you can see the ocean! The Carmel River is really beautiful, also, so lush it reminded me of being home back East!