Where to Hike in Monterey

Where to Hike in Monterey

It’s easy to stay active in California, because nature’s natural gymnasium features some of its most beautiful locations right here. Monterey in particular is a great area for those who are interested in watersports, healthy eating, and hiking. Trails lining coastal cliffs, weaving through state parks, and climbing up to scenic vistas makes this an ideal area for those who like to wander and exercise by foot. 

Looking around to our favorite state parks, beloved trails, and coastal destinations, here’s a brief guide on where to hike in Monterey. 

Marina State Beach

Those staying with The Sanctuary Beach Resort can get to their vacation hikes right by the property at Marina State Beach. Sharing the same stretch of coastline as our luxury property, this state beach features a number of coastal bluff and sandy beach hikes. In addition to hiking, this is also a popular location for hang gliding, which is a thrill to watch and take part in, as well as kite flying. 

One of the most popular treks at Marina State Beach is the Dune Boardwalk Trail, which, at just over two miles out and back, is manageable for all levels of hikers. The trail begins on the sand of the beach, and then weaves up into the dunes, where you can discover gorgeous outlooks of Monterey Bay and the peninsula. 

Marina State Beach. Marina, CA 

Limekiln State Park

Limekiln State Park is a gorgeous piece of land in Monterey County on the Big Sur coast. Come here to visit breathtaking beaches accented by coastal cliffs, to explore the redwood forest, and to see the famous 100-plus foot Limekiln Falls.

Limekiln Creek Falls Trail is a manageable and popular mile-and-a-half trek to the waterfall and back. Be aware that there are a few challenging creek crossings, but if you don’t mind getting a bit wet, it shouldn’t be a problem. We also recommend visiting Twin Peak for some of the more memorable views of the park. 

Limekiln State Park. Big Sur, CA 

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Admirers of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve have called it the “crown jewel” of all California’s 280 state parks. A popular destination for sightseers, photographers, campers, scuba divers, and travelers of all sorts, this plot of land does a great job at living up to the lofty moniker. Come here to discover rare plant communities, brilliant wildlife on the land, in the sky, and in the sea, as well as fascinating archeological sites. 

There are a number of appealing hiking trails throughout Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. You can find some pretty adorable sea animals at the end of the easy Sea Lion Point Trail. Bird Island Trail and South Plateau Trail are also great options for nature lovers. Cypress Grove Trail is another manageable favorite, which leads to majestic beaches and outlooks. 

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail

Our last recommendation is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, which will have more brilliant outlooks of the Monterey Bay coast than any single person can handle. The 18-mile stretch is all coastal, and leads travelers to some of the best-known attractions in the area. Come on out and get some exercise while cruising to famous landmarks like Cannery Row, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Pacific Grove, and Lover’s Point. 

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Monterey, CA 

Discover More of Monterey Bay

Planning a visit to the shores of Monterey Bay? Experience the region like a local, following our insider recommendations on the Sanctuary Beach Resort blog!