Explore the most popular 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

walking

views

nature trips

kid friendly

birding

no dogs

beach

wildlife

trail running

dogs on leash

wild flowers

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California Map
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Love this trail and my kids have grown up hiking this trail.

trail running
10 days ago

Part of the trail leading to Sea Lion Cove is CLOSED as of 12/4/18

This is a super easy hike with a breathtaking view of the beautiful coastline of Carmel and Big Sur, California.

on Soberanes Canyon Trail

18 days ago

Stunning views from the peak. Not sure why the trail is marked as closed, I would encourage you to continue onwards as long as you are in shape and stable on your feet, you will be just fine!

Beautiful mix of trees ocean beaches and tide pools.

hiking
19 days ago

Love the views, hiking around the park is a good workout on easy to moderate trails. Go early to beat the crowds and park outside the park and walk in to avoid a parking fee.

Easy, clean, smooth trails. Gorgeous rocky coastal views.

Hard work up and down but the views from the top totally worth it. Stunning views up and down the coast.

This hike is NOT dangerous unless your wearing sandals like some people do. If you start into the canyon and hike to the posted sign at 1.25 m. that says to not continue, you will have a immediate -.1 incline, and it’s very doable. After that it’s smooth sailing.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail - one of my favorites. It's short, easy, and simply gorgeous. We stopped for a lot of photos. I wouldn't bring my little ones here though, especially for the ones who don't want to stay on track because the edges are high and steep.

Fantastic walk. Good path. Stellar views.

Amazing views and actually saw whales from this vista!

Beautiful hike, a great workout with awesome views. We hiked it backwards and it was nice to get the sea breeze on the way down. Hiking it never felt dangerous.

Amazing!!!

After doing the entire loop today I find some of these reviews to be pretty funny. Yes there are dangerous parts to this hike as one would expect hiking through a canyon and then up to the top of a mountain. We honestly don’t know why the trail is closed though. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done especially once you reach the summit and over look the beautiful coastline.

Beautiful views! Short hike, very worth it. Accessible from turnouts...not marked.

Great hike and amazing view, next time I'm thinking about trying it counterclockwise so the last part of the hike wouldn't be in direct sun!

My favorite Big Sur hike.

Did this hike last Thanksgiving. It is one if so many breathtaking walks along the west coast. Look/listen for sea lions on the rocks below. Amazing patterns in the rock etched by wind and water. Fascinating history.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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

Nice walk around the north part of point lobos. A lot of poison oak on trail. Advisable to wear jeans and not shorts!

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
2 months ago

Great for views. Easy trail.

Scenic views everywhere!

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

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