Looking for a great trail near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California? AllTrails has 24 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, we've got you covered. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 14 easy trails in Carmel-by-the-Sea ranging from 0.6 to 7.5 miles and from 36 to 925 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

views

nature trips

walking

kid friendly

bird watching

running

wildlife

no dogs

wild flowers

beach

forest

dog friendly

dogs on leash

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California Map
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hiking
11 days ago

Diverse from cactus to redwoods. Easy stream crossings. Fun

hiking
bridge out
bugs
closed
no shade
rocky
scramble
washed out
13 days ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
14 days ago

Hiked 11.2.19 - It takes quite a bit to elicit a "wow" response from me anymore, but wowed I was! This trail has it all - incredible views of the canyon (it goes from cactus-y to Lord of the Rings pretty quickly) to majestic vistas along the way. Sure, Rocky Ridge is "closed" but after a short, but steep, stretch of uphill climbing through some washed out trail, it is absolutely doable. If you are going later in the day, definitely go counter-clockwise or you may end up descending through the canyon forest in the dark as opposed to exposed prairie. This is not a trail for the inexperienced - above treeline, it is a tough, fully exposed, straight up incline that rewards with magnificent views from the top. Good hiking shoes are a must as both the incline and decline are quite steep. Saw several lizards, a deer, and black widow spiders (after dark). Buggy during the day, so be sure to bring spray! This was my favorite trail of everything I did during my 5 day stay in the Big Sur/Monterey area - highly recommend!

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing loop. Doesn’t feel as long as it is because the scenery is so beautiful. I recommend going as early as possible.

This was such a fun hike on a beautiful day! The trail was easy to follow & the views are all over the place from seaside & the ocean to all the hills filled with tall trees. There’s plenty of uphill for a good mellow workout and lots of critters around to see and hear. It was a lonely trail. I only ran into two people. Peaceful day would highly recommend!

hiking
bugs
closed
fee
no shade
rocky
26 days ago

Beautiful day, lots of foot traffic. Bigger waves crashing on rocks made for some great experiences.

Only open for 1.25 miles along the canyon, but very pleasant and shaded walk along creek.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty and easy and great shoreline.

outstanding trail. ocean and forest trail and views. beach picnic. minimal traffic. diverse ocean views.

hiking
1 month ago

What was open was beautiful, but Rocky Ridge Trail (the majority of this hike) was closed.

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike on a clear day!

The trail is very easy and well-marked with bathrooms throughout. All trails lead to nice views, and there is a diversity of things to experience. From the cove to the tide pools to the various beaches along the loop-there is much to see. Parking was the only issue, but extra walking is a small price to pay.

Second time walking this trail, and it was just as beautiful! Very mild with great oceanic views!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes in the area. You get a little bit of everything. A step ~1,800ft climb, ocean views, a beautiful ridge-line portion where you can see Santa Cruz on a clear day, and a decent into a valley with a small creek surrounded by redwood trees. Can’t get more West Coast than this! Though the sign says it’s mostly closed, the trail is in decent enough condition (lately) to be used. Use your best judgement and attempt at your own risk. A couple things to note is the decent is quite steep so make sure you have decent trail shoes. Also, this hike should not be attempted after a heavy rain. Unless you start early, I recommend going clockwise and do the climb first, otherwise you’ll be baking in the sun on a clear day towards the end of your hike going counterclockwise. Just my opinion tho. Enjoy!!

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful trail. lots of sea lions and otters and took a short detour at Gibson beach.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Excellent trail for running. Amazing scenic portion going up the valley along the creek. Huge redwoods tower into the sky while several creek crossings with log bridges provide the path below. Signs say the ridge trail is closed but that isn’t stopping anyone from doing it. Climbing out of the canyon, it’s a steep climb and lasts till you get to the top ridge. The views from above are worth the effort though. If you add on the peak trail, it gives you a view into the Monterrey/Carmel valley. Just don’t do the peak loop. The northern part of the trail disappears and is overgrown with burrs. Next time I would just go to the peak and back. Clockwise is the way to go as most people mention. Coming down you are greeted with non stop views of the coastline but watch the trail it’s steep and a bit slippery with loose dirt & gravel. I’ll be back again for this one! A hiker told me they did it in 2 hours. Running it was about 1 hr including walking the steep parts.

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