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.
We hiked the short cut trail from the visitors center to maple canyon to fern trail to deer trail to sky trail to snivley's ridge to the summit, then back down Snivley Ridge to mesa to waterfall then back to the visitors center on lupine trail. This made for a large loop and no almost no back tracking! Our favorite. The Sky Trail and Snivley Ridge were very steep, but dry even with the recent heavy rain. We saw all ages on the steepest parts of the trail. We enjoyed walking through oak forests and views of the bay and ocean from the summit. The waterfall was lovely and flowing! The Sage Trail was closed between Fern and Sky requiring us to re-route. Meeting other people was rare on Snivley Ridge and Sky Trail.
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.