Carmel River Trail to Carmel River Camp

MODERATE 26 reviews

Carmel River Trail to Carmel River Camp is a 10.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Carmel Valley Village, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,866 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

This trail is mostly exposed to full sun and sunscreen is recommended. The trail disappears about 2 miles in when the trail drops down to meet the creek for the first time. Stay to the right of the main creek and look behind a small camp clearing. The trail resumes right behind a large tree and is hard to find. Once found, the rest of the trail is very easy to follow. The second half of the trail is very narrow with steep drops at times. Not recommended for trail running, small children, or dogs who are not experienced hikers.

hiking
bugs
closed
3 months ago

backpacking
rocky
5 months ago

backpacking
bugs
over grown
washed out
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

It was good to see water flowing over the spillway!There’s a new chainlink fence and gate at the trail/road right as you leave the dam, w “Keep Out” & “Danger Do Not Enter” One can scamper around it but it seemed weird, maybe it was erected for the Soberanes fire? Trail condition pretty good, a couple soft spots, slides and windfalls. We were following fresh horse tracks for the first couple miles, the good -they knocked off the ticks, the bad -they caused a lot of trail damage. Lots of tributaries and wild flowers. We had 3 river/creek crossings. 1st one easy, boots-on using a gravel bar and 6”D log as a bridge. 2nd thigh deep, river shoes needed, i went bare foot, ugh, girlfriend was smart and brought flip flops. 3rd was at Miller creek. We were able to bridge using an 8”D log and stability pole over strong rapids. A little sketchy w 35lbs+ packs but fun. There are a couple nice campsites w rings along the way. At CRC there are two rings and large flat areas for sleeping. Its about 50ft off the river. TICKS GALORE along the trail. Good to tick check often. We most have picked/flicked off over 3 dozen each on the mid morning return. Gaters and repellent advised. We shudder to think how many a dog would collect.

hiking
closed
washed out
9 months ago

Great trail, highly recommend for anyone wanting to put 5-6 hours of time into a hike. We weren’t able to make it all the way through due to the river being too high. Currently unsafe, because many parts of the trail were half-covered in landslides, probably because of all the rain of late. Some parts looked like another good rainstorm would cause parts of the trail to collapse.

River’s strong, you can’t swim inside it You can string some lights up the hill beside it Tonight the moon’s so bright, you can drive without you headlights on Because a little bit of summer is what the whole year’s all about. There was a new gate near the dam; however one can easily get around it. There were sections of the trail for about one mile after the gate that had some minor washout and landslides. At the time of writing (16 March 2019) the river was a bit strong to attempt getting across with a four-year-old.

Tue Oct 09 2018

Poison oak. Lots of it. Brought the dog and I wish I hadn’t. Trail disappears after first crossing. Not for beginners and even though it is “dog-friendly” I highly DO NOT recommend bringing Fido.

Wed Jul 25 2018

Did the out and back today. Trail disappears about 2 miles in when the trail drops down to meet the creek for the first time. Stay to the right of the main creek and look behind a small camp clearing. The trail resumes right behind a large tree and is hard to find. Once found the rest of the trail is very easy to follow and I got right to the river camp. Trail is mostly exposed to full sun so bring sunscreen. Second half of the trail is very narrow with steep drops at times. Would not recommend trail running or small children. Camps looked great and I took a long swim. Totally worth it.

backpacking
Mon May 28 2018

Pretty nice trip overall. Lots of poison oak, but mostly avoidable. Some ticks of course also in spring, so do periodic tick checks. Lots of overgrown weeds into the trail as you get farther in also. The 1st camp is around 5 miles from the trailhead, easily visible from the main trail. There are 2 or 3 others right across the creek. To go father than that 1st site, you will have to cross fairly shallow sections of the creek quite a few times so bring some water shoes to change into at that point. After the 1st camp there are sites every mile or so as you continue onto Carmel river trail. 1st come 1st serve sites, all u need is to take a quick quiz online and print out a fire permit. All the sites were right next to the river with nice fire rings. Went on Memorial Day weekend and still wasn’t too crowded. Lots of nice swimming holes along the river too once you get about 4 miles in.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Sat Sep 15 2018

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

backpacking
Sat Aug 18 2018

hiking
Sun Jun 24 2018

hiking
Fri Jun 15 2018

hiking
Sat Jun 09 2018

hiking
Sun May 27 2018

hiking
Thu May 24 2018

backpacking
Sat Apr 07 2018

backpacking
Sat Dec 30 2017

backpacking
Wed Dec 27 2017