Explore the most popular beach trails near Carmel-by-the-Sea with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
6 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.

Scenery: 4.5
Views: 4
Difficulty: 3
Crowds: 3
Shade: 3

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

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

A nice easy trail with amazing views!

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).

hiking
20 days ago

Great for views. Easy trail.

Scenic views everywhere!

Most underrated area in all of California! You won't be disappointed!

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!

Breathtaking views and stroller friendly trails. There are volunteers along the trail with microscopes to show off the otters, sea lions and whales.

Exceeded all expectations

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

Great views of the coastline. The docent suggested we get here via lace lichen trail but that route has no shoreline views...in the future I would recommend starting from Mound Meadow then cutting over to south loop trail.

Beautiful, diverse landscapes and seascapes. Even got to see a small pod of dolphins, a family of sea elephants and sea otters.

Gorgeous views, and the white basil smells so good.

Great views on the northern loop.

Amazing- birds, seals, sea lions, whales, jellyfish, otter were seen all from the shore!

Beautiful views, wide paths but lined with poison oak.

Only a few steep parts with stairs.

Spectacular Beauty!

Stunning views!

I went for the first time in Dec 2017 and so far it’s my favorite hike! I will definitely be back.

Point Lobos has been quoted to be “the greatest meeting of Land and Water in the world”. And it is! When you walk the trails, you are alone with nature. You feel close to God, and so grateful to him for providing us with this magnificent sanctuary filled with many species of birds and animals and breathtaking views of flowers and waves from the Pacific Ocean crashing against large granite rocks that surround the shoreline. It is so serene and peaceful and spiritual. I’ve never seen a more beautiful setting anywhere in the world.

Amazing morning. We left early to avoid the crowds and it was worth it. While some scenes were foggy, it still had amazing views.

hiking
2 months ago

Ok crowed it is. But what a nice trail. Maybe it is easy but the sceneries are the best. This is sheer pleasure if you like the sea and the coast. Go there and enjoy!

beautiful trail and scenery.

hiking
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.

Well maintained trails, very crowded. The fog made certain areas very difficult to see. Get there early in the morning to beat crowds and park on highway 1 for free!

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