Explore the most popular trails in Charmlee Wilderness Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

no shade
off trail
4 months ago

Was closed today due to hazardous conditions. Not sure if this is from the wildfires or not. However, there are hundreds of monarch butterfly’s around the entrance!

Closed. Fire.

Beautiful hike with shade, views, and a range of terrain and scenery. Great for a short hike on a lazy day to build an appetite.

Sat Sep 29 2018

We loved this hike and did the full loop. I’m so glad for the other reviewers’ notes. We came prepared with a pen to fill out the parking fee form and the $4. We also arrived by 8:30 AM — there were two other cars in the parking lot (by the time we left there were about 6 cars). Unlike another reviewers notes, there are actually two parking lots, and it looks like they hold about 6-7 cars each. There is a full-time resident ranger on the property, which is great. We also left no visible belongings in our vehicle to prevent any possible theft interest — you’re out in the wilderness and quite a ways from nearby rural-area homes, so someone would really have to go out of their way to drive up the meandering road to get to cars and break in. The bathrooms are well maintained, compared to other California facilities. We used the GPS continually from All Trails and were super glad to have it because there are many trails in the this area. From the get-go we started on the wrong trail, and the GPS reoriented us and kept us in the right spot. Thank you! We found the trail to be fairly well maintained. There are some inclines that require some average fitness, but nothing too bad. And you do have to keep watching that you don’t stumble over a rock, because much of the trail has rocks that could trip you up. The scenery is fantastic!!! Highly recommend.

Awesome short hike with nice ocean view

When I went on this hike on July 14th, the trails were poorly maintained. So much of the grass and brush was overgrown that for 40% of the hike you’re walking on a path a foot wide, with plants scraping at you up to you waist. The trails are also not clearly marked. The trail has little shade as well. The view of the ocean is nice, but the majority of the hike is in overgrown grass, and this view could similarly been seen by driving to an overlook. I would avoid this hike.

A few nice views of the Coast and Ocean. Not a lot of shade so make sure it is a cool day.

Sun Apr 08 2018

Great hike but when we got back my car had been broken into and my credit cards stolen. They broke the lock and left everything else very neatly in place. I didn’t realize until I got home. This seems to be a trend here. Beware.

We went on a day it was a little overcast but the views were still amazing! There is a bathroom on-site before you hit the main trails and a nice little picnic area. The main trails were pretty clear and there were also many small run offs for the adventure seekers. I loved that the trail we chose had a loop rather than a dead end. Will definitely go here again.

my girlfriend and I loved this hike! Unfortunately our car got broken into while we were gone.

Great view and not many people

Excellent hike! Best type of hike - circular, non-repeating, with wonderful destinations at the midpoint. Also, a lot of cross-crossing trails to climb me back and explore.

Beautiful views. Easy hike. You really can’t beat the ocean views. Plenty of places to stop at a picnic bench. Trails are clearly marked. I’d give this trail 6 stars if possible. Worth way more than the 4$ parking fee.

Beautiful view from the bench at the top!

Great trail, many options and switch backs. We choose to head down towards the ocean, beautiful views of coast. Perfect trail for beginners or family outings. Can’t beat location!

Good hike with some decent views. Trails are clearly marked and paths were cleared. Bench at the top with a good view of the coastline

Beautiful view from the lookout just off the main trail. Follow sign that says something like Park Boundary Trail going from the lower meadow toward the beach.

One of my favorite hikes for a quiet morning or late afternoon hike. This place is never busy and the hikes are in a meadow escape of the City.

Loved this trail. Quiet & good ocean views

Fun trail with wonderful views of both the ocean and the surrounding mountains. Would recommend you wear light pants while hiking this trail. Parts are narrow with a lot of growth. I have a good amount of scratches on my legs post hike.

We went when it was a bit cloudy so can't speak to views, but the trail itself was overgrown with lots of bees. I wouldn't come back unless I heard they really cleaned up and cut back the trail.

I've hiked this and other trails in Charmlee Wilderness Park over 50 times, and I never tire of it. Great payoff of the ocean view looking towards Point Dume. This is not a challenging hike unless you are an absolute beginner. If you live here and want to take a visitor for a hike with an Ocean view, this would be a great pick. If you want the hike to be more challenging, there are several additional trails in Charmlee that branch off from this one, and include more hills.

Great in the early morning before the marine layer burns off!

Distance ocean views ..... not much shade

Beautiful wildflowers and fields, awesome ocean views, easy hiking, lots of trails to pick from

Easy place to find. Not far from the Pacific Coast Highway. It has a small parking area, but I have read the park never gets very busy. It's $4.00 to park. Money is deposited in an "iron ranger". A small paper stub from the payment envelope goes on your dashboard to signify you paid. As someone else noted, this place is sort of a "build your own hike" kind of park. Some of the various legs of the trails aren't marked, but the park is small and it would be difficult to get lost. The trails are, for the most part easy to navigate and the terrain is easy to handle, I bet even for children. The elevation changes are very subtle across most of the trails. The most difficult parts are on the edges of the park. Some of the lesser used trails on the edges are a tad overgrown. You will want to be careful here as you may not be able to see where you are placing your feet. But if you are an experienced hiker, this place will play out like a fun little nature walk. To me, that was the "Charm" of Charmlee. There is a lush open field in the middle of the park with a lot of wildflowers. Heads up for the squeamish, there was also a lot of small lizards in this area and I observed two non-venomous snakes. On the east side of the loop there are small trees. I seen a few birds here and more lizards. Very cool as I love critters. There is a brilliant overlook near "the reservoir". On clear day, you will be able to see itsy bitsy Santa Barbara Island or even San Nicolas Island, though it will be very low on the horizon. Look close. 3 stars. Very short. Overgrown areas. Limited parking. Sometimes trail markings are a bit lacking. BUT, it is child and pet friendly. Perfect difficulty for beginner hiking. And if its too easy, you just turn up the pace. Excellent views. Plentiful wildlife. Easy access!

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