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Soberanes Canyon Trail is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,788 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

running

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

no dogs

As of May 2020, trails west of Highway 1 are open. Soberanes Canyon Trail is partially open from the main, gated trailhead across from Gate 8 of the Garrapata coastal trail. Hikers will be able to proceed to the back of the canyon along the 1.25 mile length of the trail. It will be an out and back hike as the Rocky Ridge portion of the trail will remain closed pending repair. https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=29841 The most spectacular part of the hike is through the Soberanes Canyon where the trail is flanked on both sides by impressive redwoods. Once you leave the redwoods and get above treeline, it isn't the immediate scenery that captivates, but rather the panoramic views. These views are typically obscured facing west due to the blanket of fog and mist that unfolds over the coast. Turn your back 180 degrees and you are likely greeted by sunlit views of Carmel valley.

hiking
2 days ago

It is a very nice trail along the creek. It was open partially. You will cross the creek a couple of times. My 3 year old also enjoyed the trail.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trial and amazing views. It was definitely challenging, there was about 1.5 miles that was uphill and what goes up must come down, the backside was steep and the trial wasn’t kept up and was over grown. Lots of wildflowers and wild life mostly lizards and a baby snake. Took me just under 3 hours to do the loop

hiking
3 days ago

It’s a great trail with very steep sections. Total elevation gain according to garmin was 3113 ft. I completed the loop in just under 2 hours. Get there early as there is a ton of out-of-towners there past 10am.

hiking
3 days ago

One of my favorite hikes. It’s a bit technical and a good challenge, but doable if you’re remotely in shape. Poles came in handy on some of the steep parts. Watch out for poison oak throughout, and it is a bit overgrown in the closed section, so I was glad I had long pants on. Very diverse terrain including cactus, redwoods, streams and tons of flowers. Beautiful views if you have a clear day, and don’t forget sunscreen because there’s no shade after you get above tree line.

hiking
5 days ago

Excellent trail. The first 1.5 miles go through half a dozen microclimates. Lots of wildflowers and delicious scents. Past the closure the trail gets very steep and is not maintained at all, so turn around unless you’re up for a scramble. Crowds and parking difficulties are the only reasons it’s not 5 stars.

hiking
6 days ago

By far the best trail I’ve ever been on. Overgrown though so if you don’t like plants rubbing against you avoid this hike, but by far the most beautiful and the weather is perfect.

hiking
12 days ago

This is one of the most biodiverse trails I’ve hiked with respect to plant life. The elevation doesn’t make as big of a difference as what side of the mountain you are on. One one side, it’s lush forest. But just across from that it’s cacti for days. But on the other side of THAT is a ocean facing landscape covered in wild flowers. This CAN be a difficult hike depending on your fitness level. There are a few area that require some upper body strength to navigate but nothing too serious. For her most part, it’s a leg burner worn AMAZING views! My favorite hike in this area.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
15 days ago

17 days ago

Phenomenal views through this hike. Highly recommend this hike if you're close to Monterey.

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
17 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Awesome trail. Started where the shed is located right off hwy 1 . BE SUPER CAREFUL when parking. People fly by it’s a little nerve wrecking. The trail was gorgeous. It’s still “closed” after 1.25 miles in but plenty of people went around the sign. I’m guessing it’s still closed because there’s still a lot of overgrown brush but nothing you can get through. The views at the top are amazing!! Take plenty of water especially if you’re going on a warm day, you’ll be in the sun 75% of the time. One of my all time favorite hikes!

hiking
19 days ago

The waterfall is on the ocean bluff trail, not the canyon trail.

hiking
21 days ago

Amazing trail - great Saturday morning workout. Since the park just re-opened there is quite a bit of overgrown brush along the trail but it’s nothing to worry about. Did not encounter any ticks (thankfully) nor any snakes. Not for the feint of heart!

hiking
over grown
washed out
21 days ago

The sign says closed but the loop is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been on it is well worth the hassle lotta hard work

hiking
24 days ago

Gorgeous albeit very difficult. I went counterclockwise which I recommend starting the trek through the beautiful canyon with redwoods, ferns and stream. Once at the end of the canyon the trail becomes very steep with few areas of almost-flat. Beyond the canyon the trail has been closed since the mudslides several years ago, but it’s still very passable. At the top your view is fabulous. The trek down the face of the mountain is less treacherous than years ago, as it doesn’t seem to be so slippery as before. Be sure to take water and rest often during the ascent. Fantastic, yet difficult hike. You’ll love it!

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Great Trail. It is steep up and down. Not too bad, but slippery with loose dirt on the way down. Some ticks in June. Would recommend counterclockwise to maximize views on the way down.

hiking
1 month ago

A little bit of everything! Amazing views and a great challenge!

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
1 month ago

Not bad! Watch out for ticks. Did a check every few minutes and saw one on my leg the entire time, flicked it off and we were on our way. Beautiful views. The “closed” trail portion is moderately difficult but mostly fine if you don’t rush it. Easy to slip but not difficult overall. Saw tons of families hiking it. Don’t go if it’s at all wet or it’ll be a mudslide. We went clockwise starting with the closed part and it was the right move. The open portion has a few shallow river crossings so bring shoes that ideally can get wet.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Awesome hike. It is steep hike. Slippery trial. Be careful when you go.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my top 3 favorite hikes (so far) in Monterey! The first time I hiked this my boyfriend said it was easier to go counter-clockwise. IT'S A LIE and also you won't have the gorgeous views while descending. Do it clockwise! Also be careful of rattlesnakes. Bring lots of water; no shade for the second half. Love the variety of terrain on this hike, and the rehike value is very high. The only major downside is it's usually closed and very trafficked to the point where I won't bother with hiking it when there are tons of cars along the highway.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is technically closed after the first mile or so. If you choose to go passed this point you’ll come out of the forest to a pretty much continuous sun exposed incline for the rest of the hike but it’s worth it! Make sure to bring water and a snack just in case. Lots of wild flowers and ocean views if it’s a clear day. Mountain views regardless. Best to go in the spring but always beautiful. Way down is steep and some parts of the trail have little canyons that make it unstable. Walking sticks recommended for this part if you have bad knees! This hike is always a good workout and so beautiful the whole way through. Always recommend!

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