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

My favorite Big Sur hike.

12 days ago

Hiked October 4th. Crossed paths with other Day hikers doing the entire 5.4 mi loop. Trail conditions were as described, similar to my hike in spring 2015.

14 days ago

Scenery: 4
Views: 4
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 2
Shade: 2

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Soberanes is a gorgeous hike and an easy trail through the canyon, however... Do not attempt to do the entire “loop” to Rocky Ridge from the end of Soberanes Canyon Trail unless you’re used to climbing - extreme - terrain and vertical inclines. Once you start up, it’s too dangerous to go back down and it’s not a switchback trail, but a straight shot vertical incline on sandy, rocky ground (easy to slip) that’s the equivalent of 158 “floors” on the iPhone app. Not for the faint of heart, or people looking to go for an easy scenic hike on their vacation. Hiking boots with tread are required and walking sticks also help. There is a reason the trail is closed and that’s because it’s dangerous. That said, the “safest” option for those who want to see the view from the top is to take the Rocky Ridge trail (instead of the Canyon trail) to the top, enjoy the view, then turn around and descend the same way. Do NOT attempt to continue on and descent into the Canyon via Rocky Ridge trail - the ground is not suitable for descending and there’s no cell reception back there (and no patrol), so if anything happens to you, you’re in the wind. Nonetheless, if you are an extreme climber and want to do the entire loop, start with Soberanes Canyon Trail and when you see the “end/closure” sign, the trail is to the left (yes, it’s unmarked, you have to scale the side of the hill and climb up rocks a bit - again, I don’t recommend that route unless you’re an extreme climber/hiker).

25 days ago

Great for views. Easy trail.

Scenic views everywhere!

Trail starts off feeling all desert like and quickly changes to forest. Many small streams you'll have to cross. 2nd half of trail is currently closed to hazardous conditions, but still saw some people hiking it.

Beautiful hike! The steep section to get up to the ridge was a little difficult but so worth it! The views are amazing! Nice bench to sit on at the top and see the view!

Beautiful hike! A little of everything, redwoods, I’ve caught some great wild flowers, gorgeous views and a great workout!!

2 months ago

We hiked this trail last week (7/15). We accidentally went the reverse way around - take the yellow trail first for the 1.5 miles before it turns into the red or “closed” trail. We packed very lightly from east coast and didn’t have hiking boots - for about 1.5 miles we had to slide down on our hands and butts so we didn’t slip since it was all loose sand on the way down. You can avoid this by starting yellow to red, sandy part up, ocean view on the way down. Bring shoes with tread for safety. Thought I couldn’t do it but when we got to the top it was worth it! You get ocean, desert and forest landscapes all in one.

One of the most beautiful and remote walks/hikes near the water I’ve done!

This is one of my favorite hikes! You get a little bit of everything, the Redwood Forest, amazing ocean view, wildflowers that surround you, a nice ocean breeze to carry you down. I would definitely recommend hiking boots for doing the whole Loop, and long sleeves and long pants to trudge through the wild flower bushes.

Easy trail, there’s areas where you can go off trail for a more challenging hike, would definitely recommend some hiking shoes for those. BEAUTIFUL views, it’s a steep hike to the top, but well worth it!

3 months ago

I went through the whole loop - throughthe “closed area” and back down. Watch out for the poison oak on the south part of the trail. Definitely wear real hiking boots/shoes for this trail. The path is a bit eroded in parts and you’ll need the extra footing.

A beautiful, unique hike. Not to be missed.

3 months ago

I did it for the first time when the trail re-opened in April- all of the wildflowers were in bloom and everything was as green as it gets! The day was clear and the view was spectacular. It’s an easy walk through the canyon for the first mile and some, and then a steep climb to the peak, but so worth it.

I went again a couple of weeks ago and it was foggy at the top but it cleared up on our way down.

Wear layers for the unpredictable weather and long pants- the upper part of the trail is overgrown and it’s a tick area!

Tough trail but worth the effort for the $1m views throughout. So many amazing wild flowers, rolling hills, and views of the Pacific.

Did the loop despite the one portion being “closed”. Totally accessible if not just a little overgrown. No real hazards.

We got there at 8:30am and parking was good. The views are really pretty and lots of change of scenery but a lot of the trial is overgrown. After about a mile there is a trail closure sign ...but we went anyways . It also gets really windy at the top. Overall it was a great/ challenging hike.

4 months ago

Incredible views from 1900 feet above sea-level. This trail is not for the faint hearted and will jack you up on the 2.5 mile incline and the 2 mile decline. This day we were above the fog at 1k feet but on our decline found the monterey bay in its spectacular glory. Wild flowers ate a bloom right now so it's a great time to hit this trail.

4 months ago

Incredible trail, was unable to record because I was only visiting California. This trail is a must do, it says it’s closed but you can still access the whole trail. Lots of elevation and breath taking views. A 100% must do!

4 months ago

LOVE this trail! Beautiful, dramatic and varied scenery, I have been there the last 3 weekends and it has looked different every time, the flowers and foliage change so freaking much every time. Redwoods, ocean views, endless fields of wildflowers, crazy beautiful sky....
And it’s a good workout if u keep a good a pace.

Beautiful views there is about one mile of pretty steep climb but worth it for the views. There is a little bit of everything wildflowers majestic forest and ocean views. I would do this one again for sure

Amazing view of wildlowers and the ocean.

5 months ago

Hard hike for old dude. Great views and wildflowers!

One of my favorite hike for a quick cardio workout. With breathtaking views, incredible sounds of wild life, beautiful redwoods, relaxing sounds of the flowing creeks and small waterfalls...makes this place pretty majestic. Highly recommended.

5 months ago

We went on this brutal and stunning 7 mile hike on Sunday at Garrapata State Park in Carmel, CA. The landscape changed from gorgeous, shady redwoods (absolutely go beyond the signs) to climb up to the Sound of Music-esque rolling hills covered in wildflowers with frustrating false peaks, to the actual peak where the winds almost blew us over, covering us in clouds while we lay cradled in a rock throne. The descent was grey skies, highlighting the colors of the prolific flowers, bringing us over the rain-eroded trail, rough on the knees and ankles, but we made it. Grateful to have been very prepared with clothing layers, good boots, and hiking poles, or else I’d still be up there. Very much worth it for this beautiful hike!

Great loop hike start on Soberanes Canyon trial and loop around, come back down rocky ridge trail. From crossing streams, seeing plenty of wild flowers, even cactus along the way, challenging up to the peak and a nice ocean view on the way down. The sign says it’s closed after 1.5mi, but just keep going and follow the single track and you won’t regret it. Great hike overall.

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