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!


nature trips

kid friendly



bird watching


no dogs



wild flowers


dog friendly

dogs on leash

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California Map

Beautiful trail. Easy terrain with stunning ocean views. Great wildlife spotting- numerous seals, otters, and birds. Interesting whaling museum.

This was a gorgeous hike! I went counterclockwise and was fine with that decision. Right now there is a lot of erosion from water run off so some steep areas need to be taken slow. Besides that, it was fine. Great views of the ocean, mountains, and canyon!

12 days ago

Incredible hike with beautiful views.


Good trail close to Monterey with great views from the top.

Easy trail within Carmel

13 days ago

Great dog friendly trail!

Easy 1.25 mile trail with a 5 year old. Not much elevation and beautiful views. Also not as crowded as Point Lobos trails.

great hike! not too sternous and is great to do with kids. the park charged 2 dollars a person to get it but you can work outside too. great view of the Monterrey Bay

16 days ago

Started this trail around 11am and did it clockwise. Sun does get hot on you even in winter. This was breathtaking and a favorite hike during the trip. I would highly recommend this just keep in mind it is rated for a reason. I probably would would have rated moderate but it is definitely a challenge. You get more uphill but less steep inclines and end in a beautiful forest/stream setting. I would recommend this way again. Coming down the backside was slippery with loose dirt/gravel. Hiking poles were a huge help. This hike incorporates many aspects starting at the ocean and climbing up exposed rock and ending in forest/stream.

16 days ago

Views are beautiful but the crowds/people ruined it and to be honest far better views can be had along the coast. We got out by Sea Lion point and walked a bit but decided to move on.Very easy walking.

Great views, accessible for all skill levels.

North shore trail is fantastic with kids (am we went with ages 3-5). They loved climbing up a few sets of rocks and the gorgeous views of the ocean, kelp, seals, sea otters, and pelicans. Several benches that are perfect for a snack or water break.

19 days ago

Super easy trail—love to take visitors with kids and even folks with canes can handle this one as it very flat and wide (one incline at beginning with an ADA ramp option). Stunning views of the coast and some great opportunities to view seals, sea otters, and pelicans.

19 days ago

We had three young kids with us (ages 3-5) so stuck to just the canyon trail out-and-back. We loved the change from hot and dry cactus covered valley to shaded redwood areas and many stream crossings.

Nice views but extremely over crowded with corresponding noise issues. No entrance fee if you park on the road just outside of the entrance. This is a beginner trail in my opinion. Saw lots of parents with 5-8 year olds.

20 days ago

Birthday hike.

Beautiful scenery, for the portion (which is most) of the trail that borders the water. The loop is less than 5 miles unless you do all the deviations. It’s easy with a few rocky inclines.

nice little nature walk to take during sunset on a clear day

no shade
over grown
22 days ago

Rocky ridge trail (northern half) is marked closed but many people still hike it. This trail offers views of forest, bald and rocky slopes, and a grand view of the coast. The northern half has no shade and gets pretty windy; it goes atop the ridge overlooking the sea. The southern half is also partly exposed but the part near the entrance is nicely shaded and goes in the forest around a creek. Personally I’d suggest going clockwise so you spend less time walking towards the sun and get your face burnt. The ascend is steep either way.

22 days ago

23 days ago

Beautiful! Stunning views, level walkways that were friendly for all hiking abilities. If you do this hike, it’s prettier than the 17 mile drive and save yourself some time to enjoy the views.

Très belle randonnée. Sentier bien marqué. Nous avons fait toute la boucle en 4h environ en prenant notre temps pour prendre plein de photos. Nous avons vu plusieurs phoques. La partie au sud qui donne sur l'océan est vraiment magique. Nous sommes arrivés tôt (avant 9h) ce qui nous a permis de nous garer sans problème et de profiter un peu des sentiers avant l'arrivée du monde. L'accès en voiture coûte 10 dollars mais ce n'est pas cher payé pour une réserve aussi bien entretenue !

Very fun walk, hike, or run. Varied terrain and amazing seaside coastline. I ran about a 3 mile loop, which was a little challenging given the trail traffic, but if you enjoy scrambling up rocks, roots and steps, it’s a blast. And the views... wow.

Great trail with decent views. enough pine needles that it wasn't too muddy even after a hard rain the night before.

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