There’s no better way to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Carmel, Big Sur, Monterey, or Salinas than by organizing a day pack and hiking through it. There are hikes on the Central Coast for every level of hiker, from the novice in sneakers to the extreme hiker dead set on an overnight adventure!
Some of our favorite parks and hiking trails are:
Point Lobos State Reserve – Carmel, CA
- The crown jewel of the State Park system! Everything from short scenic walks to longer treks.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – Big Sur, CA
- Easy hike to one of the most iconic settings in California, McWay Falls!
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park – Big Sur, CA
- Hike to the waterfall on the beautiful Pfeiffer Falls Trail!
Garrapata State Park – Carmel, CA
- Hike up the frontage trail where there is a bench with panoramic views of the Pacific and then continue onward to fulfill the loop while descending through a Redwood-filled valley!
Andrew Molera State Park – Big Sur, CA
- Over 20 miles of trails through diverse environments from meadows to scenic trails and even beach-walking.
Garland Ranch Regional Park - Carmel Valley, CA
- Dog friendly, steep trails and incredible valley views!
Toro Park – Salinas, CA
- Wildflowers and views of the Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley!
Lover's Point - Pacific Grove, CA
- From Lover’s Point, you can walk/jog along the ocean all the way to Asilomar!
Pinnacles National Park – Soledad, CA
- Incredible rock formations and intriguing caves, the Pinnacles recently became recognized as a National Park!
Wilder Ranch – Santa Cruz, CA
- Redwood trees and ocean views surround you at this park in North Monterey Bay.
Also, see Top 10 Day Hikes for more hiking ideas in Monterey County!