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

hiking
19 days ago

We did a 5 mile out and back trip to Carmel River Camp. Awesome views and campsites and swimming holes too. I would recommend looking at the Ventana Wilderness website for recent trail conditions. Originally I wanted to another loop but after looking at the website I was deterred.

hiking
19 days ago

This was our first official backpacking trip...We started at the Las Padres damn and hiked in about 7 miles to a nice river side setting. We set up camp and tested out all of our gear. The trail is well traveled and easy in the since that you would have a hard time getting lost. We came across a lot of poison oak but were able to avoid coming into contact with it. It was a beautiful hike and I highly recommend it. I will go again but this time we will go much farther knowing that all our gear works.

Really good time, moderate difficulty I'd say. Plenty of good views and a nice variety of ecosystems. Lots of fresh clean water to pump as you will be along the river. Highly recommend.

backpacking
1 month ago

Pretty nice trip overall. Lots of poison oak, but mostly avoidable. Some ticks of course also in spring, so do periodic tick checks. Lots of overgrown weeds into the trail as you get farther in also. The 1st camp is around 5 miles from the trailhead, easily visible from the main trail. There are 2 or 3 others right across the creek. To go father than that 1st site, you will have to cross fairly shallow sections of the creek quite a few times so bring some water shoes to change into at that point. After the 1st camp there are sites every mile or so as you continue onto Carmel river trail. 1st come 1st serve sites, all u need is to take a quick quiz online and print out a fire permit. All the sites were right next to the river with nice fire rings. Went on Memorial Day weekend and still wasn’t too crowded. Lots of nice swimming holes along the river too once you get about 4 miles in.

3 months ago

I did this hike with my boyfriend for the first time this last Sunday. I would say the hike is a challenge due to the steady incline for 4 miles straight. We got some beautiful shots on our way up but I was disappointed in the view once we reached the top. I expected more. I won’t be putting in the effort to do this hike twice.

Haven't gone on this trail, but just an FYI in response to Paul: on PublicLands.org it doesn't list any of the land as private

hiking
7 months ago

A beautiful hike, I loved passing the different topologies found while doing this easy to moderate short trail. We started going to the left and uphill, we passed a beautiful trail with a lot of autumn colors and a very beautiful view from above, then walking the redwood canyon is like walking on a small piece of autumn colorful heaven all the way to a stony beautiful small river.

Some unfriendly man told us the middle section was private property and even had to turn back and climb up through the national forest park of Los Padres. It ended up being great anyway, but overall not an advisable experience. Better climbing up directly from Tassajara Rd.

hiking
8 months ago

Very pleasant short hike with a changing environment. With plenty of rocks in the creek unless I'd seen the sign at the start I wouldn't have even realised there were seasonal foot bridges normally.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Diverse hike on the way up with some great view points and challenging climbs. Hiking down was a little mundane but very peaceful.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Was hoping to get up on top of the ridge more for views. Lots of shaded hiking and a few spots along a narrow trail with big cliffs. Didn't realize that I'd have to go into the raging creek about 2-3' 4x to follow trail. Lucky it was warm out.

hiking
Friday, February 10, 2017

ALL TRAILS EAST IF HWY 1 ARE CLOSED! $5000 fines for trespassing. The trails are impassable and mostly destroyed due to the 2016 wildfires.

It was a nice trail, but we lost it during the creek crossing. We must have crossed both creeks when we were only supposed to cross one? Sort of hard to follow the map there. Other than that, it was an easy ten miles

hiking
Friday, November 27, 2015

Did a 20-mile roundtripper from Los Padres dam up the Carmel River trail, to the apparently now-defunct Puerto Suello trail (it's on my Trails Illustrated but not on Alltrails!), then down the Ventana and Big Pines Trails. Really beautiful area. The trails can be tough to follow at time, as they're really overgrown in places, but the views make up for it. From the Ventana Trail you can see the ocean! The Carmel River is really beautiful, also, so lush it reminded me of being home back East!

hiking
Tuesday, May 05, 2015

5/3/15 - My 12 yr old daughter and myself just completed a 3 day/2 night from China Camp at Tassahara Rd through Pine Valley to Los Padres Dam. Great trip but a very tough through the stretch from Pine Valley to Hidding Camp. We made it to Buckskin Flat camp in 7 hours with a couple of long breaks in between. The trail through this section was severely overgrown with probably 15 fallen trees. If I had know it was this bad I would not have tried and instead opted for the Carmel river trail in and out. I would not recommend this stretch until maintenance is done as the growth will only get worse. Ton's of poison oak as well. If you go, don't attempt without good trail pants, long sleeves, gloves and a face net (bugs). Getting to the river trail was a great reward and this trail, while also a bit overgrown in places, was beautiful. I'm in really good shape as is my daughter and the 2nd leg was pretty grueling so I would consider the overall trip moderate.

well it was about 18.8 miles long

hiking
Saturday, March 29, 2014

3/15/14 - From Los Padres Dam to Carmel River Camp - 11 miles r/t. Stayed one night with my 10 yr old daughter. She loved the trail and playing in the river. Great hike with a few Difficult spots but I mostly consider this as a Moderate hike. Reservoir was full as opposed to a few weeks ago when it looked 30' lower than tree line. The river crossings were all rock hoppers and the poison oak is a bit encroaching onto some sections. Overall really nice and the no fire order had been lifted about a week before we went so a nice small evening fire was nice.

hiking
Sunday, February 23, 2014

Great hike to recon some overnight spots for the near future. Started at 9a with my daughter and headed out to see the Bluff campsite and Carmel River campsite. Easy trail to follow, one creek crossing over a log and one rock-hopping river crossing. Doable now but most rocks we used would be covered with some rain. If so, wading knee deep would be possible. Two trails leave the Bluff area (clean and empty and a total of 4 sites, all empty today) across the river but one ends upstream 100 yds (just a water access trail). The other trail heads up over a small pass and you enter the Ventana Wilderness/Los Padres National Forest (sign post). The Carmel River campsite has 2 large camp areas and was empty today. Will definitely come back for a 2 night trip. Was 11 miles r/t from dam parking area.

hiking
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I like to call Mount Carmel disappointment peak, the view from Mount Carmel is not very impressive. However the view from Devil’s Peak, which you will climb to get to Mount Carmel, is spectacular.
I highly recommend this hike but I would skip Mount Carmel and enjoy the views from Devil’s Peak of Pico Blanco, the ocean, the Little Sur watershed, and Double Cone Peak.

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