Explore the most popular kid friendly 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.


Very pretty trail. Went counter clockwise. Would suggest using the map, as well.

We also took a detour to Siesta Point, which was kind of fun. There's a nice bench and a great view.

28 days ago

The starting point is the very private residence of the Merv Griffin Estate. Good luck getting in!

2 months ago

Really loved this area and hike. Started at visitor center and ascended the climb counter clockwise. Nothing too crazy and it's a steady incline all the way to the highest point. Nice views of the Carmel Valley and all the trails were well maintained and fairly wide. Agreed with the last comment that it's a good idea to load the map onto your app or use a map. Waterfall area is currently dry but I imagine it'll be quite a sight after the rains.

Beautiful trails and views. I love that the dog can be under voice control only in this park!

beautiful hike. pretty easy with some moderate inclines.

This was a relatively easy hike but with some ascending on the front end. The trail is wide and well-maintained. It follows the creek for a short while, then ascends. It is very easy to get onto another trail because these crisscross all over the place. The signage is not always clear or is absent. You'll need the app up to stay on the intended route and you'll need it zoomed. But overall this is a very pleasant hike and a decent workout.

on Lupine Loop Trail

5 months ago

Beautiful in the spring.

We went all the way to the top! It was definitely a great workout. A lot of Incline . Best of all PET FRIENDLY

on Buckeye Nature Trail

8 months ago

So I’m gonna be honest, I followed the trail outlined on the app verses taking the designated trails around the park and whoever thought that this trail was easy is crazy. Don’t get me wrong I throughly enjoyed the views and the hike itself but the first part of this trail was almost straight up and my knees were not having it, but once we were on the top it leveled out and we went down again and there was another climb. On the way down the trail was so narrow and it was literally steps along the side of a cliff the come back down the mountain, and again my knees were screaming at me. But we survived, we being my dog and I. I think once my fitness level is up I will be doing the trail outlined on the map here again. 4.5 miles not 3.5 like it says.

We really enjoyed this park because there are so many trails. It is very well maintained and we did not see any trash! One thing we laughed about was that how the residents have made this state park their own personal dog park! We had our dog leashed but almost every dog we encountered was accompanied by a seemingly indifferent owner walking either way behind one another along the trails and in the parking area.

10 months ago

Pretty nice hike. The viewpoint is really nice

This is my family’s go to trail. We love this hike.

11 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.

11 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.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

good trail.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

great way to relax and challenge yourself.

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.

Didn't see much wildlife. A lot of other people hiking the trails. Several different paths to take. I tried taking the longest loop I could and recorded it.

Dog friendly

Hear the cars from every spot of the hike
No major wildlife seen
Lots of other people hiking the trail.
Also a school bus full of children hiking the bottom portion of the trail.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Garland Ranch is a beautiful place to go hiking. There's plenty of parking. There are many options for trails to hike and the rain this season has resulted in so many wildflowers. Very dog friendly and they even have dog water fountains. My dogs brought home a few ticks so be on the lookout for them. The majority of trails have shade so even on a hot day the trails should still be enjoyable.

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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lupines are just beginning to bloom!

Nice easy trail. Rushing river with a bridge to cross as soon as you begin. Beautiful hidden pond in the mountains and moss covered trees. Stairs for a good workout. Wild turkeys! The waterfall is indeed more of a trickle but is so easy to get to that there was no disappointment at all!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Okay I'm writing this from the view point of a dad with four kids. Parking was ample (Weekend around 1200). The visitors center was located at the hub of several trails and had bathrooms with running water. Make sure you check out the 3d model of Garland Ranch. The trails themselves were well maintained and provided amazing views of the valley. There were so many there that it seemed there was always an option to customize the route to make it easier or more difficult. This was great with the kids as they can be unpredictable.
The route we took actually included waterfall trail and parts of Lupine Loop, Hawk Trail, and Mesa Trail. The waterfall was only a trickle but was still pretty cool. It was also not that far of of walk from the visitor's center. All in all I highly recommend Garland Ranch for families. You really can't beat this for hiking with kids.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Great views, went a little off trail onto mesa trail to add a couple miles. Nice trails with cool info marks, stairs and markings. Will be coming back again!

Monday, September 05, 2016

Great, leisurely hike with young children. Gather acorns along the way and mash them up with a rock at the big stone they have that the Native Americans used. My kids loooooved this. See photos. Look for the buckeye seeds and acorns. My 6 year old was thrilled. Really interesting signs that educate about the plants and the brilliant methods employed by the native Americans to use the plants. Watch out for poison oak. Also, half way through the trail you have to walk for a few hundred yards on the Mesa trail to continue on to the buckeye trail.

Monday, September 05, 2016

We took our three kids on a hike weaving through the buckeye nature trail to the waterfall. Things are dry right now because of the drought and therefore, no waterfall. However, the dry basin under the area where the water usually falls was very interesting for my children. The nature trail was interesting and gave really cool facts about Native American acorn and buckeye uses. Lots of people with dogs. Great place to hike with dogs and kids. Getting to the waterfall is QUiCK! Not 3 miles. However, you can keep hiking up beyond it.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Good beginner trail. No water , so not as spectacular as it could have been. A few spots got your heart going.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Went solo hiking. Gorgeous views.

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