Carmel River State Beach
Trails and Pathways
- Trail Length:
- Under one mile total
- Typical Width:
- 4 ft. & above
- Typical Grade:
- Typical Terrain:
Mostly used by locals, this trail feels somewhat off the beaten tourist path and may be a welcome change from more popular sites in Monterey County. About half of the trail travels behind large homes that blend tastefully into the hillside, allowing views of Carmel to the north and Point Lobos to the south to draw your attention. You will see a lot of coyote brush, sage, grasses, and the ubiquitous iceplant. The route is only 10 or 20 feet above the ocean, close enough to look down into tidepools. At the first fork, go left to stay on the main trail along the coast, or right to travel uphill past the houses. A few hundred feet farther along the main trail, adventurous types can take a narrower (less than three feet wide) spur path to a tranquil picnic spot next to a rocky outcrop. When you reach the main trail’s end there is a lovely view of the Carmel River Lagoon, where we saw grebes diving in clear water while brown pelicans flew overhead.
- Accessible Parking:
- Yes – designated accessible parking, hard, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;
The only designated accessible parking is at Carmel River Beach. There are no marked spaces at the trailhead, and room for only a few cars. Alternatively, you can park at Monastery Beach (shoulder alongside Highway 1) and travel along the highway shoulder to the trailhead, but the ride can be bumpy.
- Accessible Restroom:
- Yes – At Carmel River State Beach parking lot. No restroom at trailhead.
- Beach Wheelchair:
- @@@There are no beach wheelchairs at the park, but you can borrow one at nearby Monterey Beach (831-373-5357) or Asilomar Conference Center (831-372-4076) if you can transport it in your vehicle.
- Additional Information:
Spanish Explorers and missionaries once commonly visited Carmel River Beach. Resting atop Cross Hill is a modern cross commemorating the one placed in 1602 by explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno.