Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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

hiking
2 months ago

We took Lupine Loop - Mesa - past Mesa Pond up (when I say up...there was a lot of up) to Snively's Ridge. An awesome overlook once you reach the Ridge all the way to the ocean. Took Sky - Fern - Buckeye back down. Don't let the stairs at Buckeye throw you off its not more climbing. The Buckeye levels off pretty quickly. This will get you back to the visitors center. The gps said this loop was 7.4 miles. The miles were mostly uphill or downhill not a lot of level ground.

on Buckeye Nature Trail

2 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.

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

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty nice hike. The viewpoint is really nice

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is not moderate, it's straight up hard. Bring 1 bottle water for every 3 miles or so, large hat, good traction shoes (or sticks), and some snacks.

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

hiking
5 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
6 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.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views of the Monterey Bay once you get to the top of the ridge. And if you take the fern trail nonstop straight up the middle, you'll get a nice leg pump! It's about 3 miles from the visitor center to the top of the ridge taking that route.
When you get to the top of the Fern trail where it meets the ridge you"ll spot the sign that says Snively's ridge (with arrows pointing both ways), Take a right (west) and continue up along the top of the ridge another half mile and that's where you'll find the views of the entire Monterey bay and Carmel Valley.

On your return back down from that Vista point I recommend NOT taking a left down that same Fern Trail but instead continuing straight ahead (East,passing the sign on your left) and on past Snively's ancient Corral and stay on that trail which will take you down to the Mesa pond.
Just below the pond (200 feet) you will find three separate fresh clean water stations-for dogs, horses and people. And: then continue on down via choosing the scenic Waterfall Trail which will take you back down to the main meadow and on to the visitor center and out to the parking lot.
That's approximately a 7 mile loop and a little over 1,800 feet in elevation gain that can easily be done in four hours while including stopping for lunch, plus water breaks and photo opportunities.

good trail.

great way to relax and challenge yourself.

definitely heed the parks advice and bring double the water you'd normally bring to the same length hike elsewhere.

really fabulous views throughout, will probably try it again in a different season. amazing wildflowers in each of the different zones the trail crosses through.

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.

Pros
Maintained
Loop
Dog friendly

Cons
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.

hiking
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Absolutely beautiful set of trails that takes you up to the very top of the mountain (the ridge). Lots of oak trees covered in Spanish moss make this steep incline not only gorgeous, but it provides good cool shade to make the 2,100 foot incline better. We did most of the trail that was suggested including the down-and-back on the actual Snivley's Ridge Trail. All in all we got just over 12 miles down and enjoyed every bit of it! So many wildflowers and green growth in the area and beautiful views of Pebble Beach and Carmel Valley as well as Moss Landing can be seen from most view points.

Bring lots of water, take your trash with you, and keep the trail clean for more hikers and adventurers who will follow.

hiking
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.

hiking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fantastic trail, well maintained. Gorgeous, hard-earned vistas - tough climb as very steep up (15% grade) and down. About a 6.5 mile round trip hike. Our dogs loved it and are now out for the count!

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

This is a great hike. Plan on a fair amount of elevation gain. The trail names don't all match up, but follow the map and you'll get there. If you can, follow it to the old Fire Tower and grab a snack on the benches.

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!

hiking
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.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

We hiked the short cut trail from the visitors center to maple canyon to fern trail to deer trail to sky trail to snivley's ridge to the summit, then back down Snivley Ridge to mesa to waterfall then back to the visitors center on lupine trail. This made for a large loop and no almost no back tracking! Our favorite. The Sky Trail and Snivley Ridge were very steep, but dry even with the recent heavy rain. We saw all ages on the steepest parts of the trail. We enjoyed walking through oak forests and views of the bay and ocean from the summit. The waterfall was lovely and flowing! The Sage Trail was closed between Fern and Sky requiring us to re-route. Meeting other people was rare on Snivley Ridge and Sky Trail.

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!

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

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