Explore the most popular views 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.

Although shaded throughout, the sunny spots are intense. Bring lots of water.

14 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

3 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

4 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.

5 months ago

Very steep at some points but totally doable. I definitely recommend climbing the 1/4 mile or so up Snively’s ridge trail once you get to the top of the sky trail, the view from there is as good as any in the area.

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

5 months ago

Nice hike.

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.

5 months ago

Fun trail.

6 months ago

Pretty nice hike. The viewpoint is really nice

6 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.

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.

7 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.

7 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.

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 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.

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.

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!

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