Rio Del Mar Trail

EASY 8 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Rio Del Mar Trail is a 6 mile out and back trail located near Aptos, California that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
639 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

road biking

trail running

walking

beach

views

hiking
4 months ago

When I do this beach walk, I park on the beach side of the road at the entrance to Dolphin Beach, near the intersection of Sumner and Dolphin Dr. The trail is a staircase down with some garbage cans and dog poop bags. The trailhead takes you down to the beach via a dry creek known as Bush Gulch.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this is not so much a trail as a literal walk on the beach. It really is a wonderful place, with a seemingly endless, wide open expanse of sand, big surf, and tall, jutting bluffs dotted with coastal trees and plants. Often times the cliffs open up into small sandy coves, gulches, or inlets, areas with soft grass and sometimes flowers, and large pieces of driftwood that make great places to sit, where friends and I have camped and had bonfires. The full moon looks beautiful rising over the cliffs. On clear days, there are views of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Monterey Peninsula on the south side of the bay, and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the north. The best thing about this place is that it is absolutely ok to have your (friendly!) dog off leash. Rangers often drive the beach, and none have ever stopped me with my pit bull mix running around chasing her ball into the waves. If you are so inclined, as far as I can tell, you could walk along this beach for miles and miles. I have seen seals, whales, dolphins, all kinds of seabirds, crabs, jellyfish, and this is also a great place for collecting shells and sand dollars.

walking
10 months ago

It is a walk along the beach, not a hike. It is a very nice beach to walk on though! Not crowded, at all. Other people had dogs on the beach. The water as nice. Got to see a lot of birds, crabs, and some whales. The beach had many sand dollars as well if you're into that.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Not a hike - it's on the beach bit nice boardwalk

walking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

Love walking/ running here!

20 days ago

4 months ago

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016