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Nestled between rolling hills and vineyards, the trails in Carmel showcase the region’s natural beauty, with lush meadows, towering redwoods, and sun-drenched valleys. Hiking in Carmel Valley is a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure, allowing you to explore hidden gems like Garland Ranch Regional Park or Palo Corona Regional Park. The moderate climate ensures enjoyable hikes year-round, while the captivating views of the Santa Lucia Mountains and Carmel River create a rejuvenating escape. Join us and feel the serenity of Carmel Valley’s trails, where every step unveils a new vista, making it an unforgettable destination for nature enthusiasts and avid hikers alike.

  • The famous Carmel Beach

    White sands and cerulean blue ocean make this one of the most iconic spots on California’s Central Coast

  • Scenic paths

    Further inland, Carmel Valley is home to the area’s many trails that beckon the curious explorer

  • Unwind and explore

    See waterfalls, rock formations, towering redwoods, endless fields of wildflowers, and abundant wildlife

Available itineraries

Carmel Valley Private Hiking Excursion

All private hikes are intended to provide a taste of everything Carmel! Less than ten miles from Carmel-by-the-Sea, you’ll find 8.5 miles of trails — a popular spot for picnics, photography, and basking in the glow of unspoiled nature. Your guides will take you down one of the various hiking trails according to your group’s wishes and skill.

Carmel Valley Half Day Hiking Excursion

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Carmel by walking two trails or a longer, more challenging trail picked by your guides according to your preferences. Walk through cottonwood-sycamore groves of the floodplain, enjoy the sun in the oak savannas or head up into the Santa Lucia Mountain. There is a variety of open terrain, natural space, and hiking trail opportunities available for every age and fitness level.

Carmel Valley Full Day Hiking Excursion

Immerse yourself in a full day of exploring the beautiful terrain of Carmel Valley — your guides have access to multiple trails of varying difficulty, and based on your desires, they will tailor this experience for you! Take a walk on the wild side and enjoy the lavish willow-covered banks along the Carmel River, cottonwood-sycamore groves, and Santa Lucia Mountain foothill trails. Reach secluded canyons boasting ponds, waterfalls, pines, and redwoods. Some trails lead to an inspiring lookout of the Pacific Ocean high atop a spot perfect for a picnic!

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Meet your guide

Big Sur Guides
Big Sur Guides
Hiking Guides
For over 42 years, Big Sur Guides and hiking has led private, group and corporate trips, sharing the beauty and history of Big Sur’s old-growth forests, mountain streams and coastal trails on day trips and helicopter tours.
5.00 (1 reviews)
Lori M.

Steve, We so enjoyed our guided hike with you. You truly have a gift for bringing the nature, history and folklore of Big Sur to life. The hidden untrampled pockets you showed us and the entertaining and interesting stories made our time in Big Sur all the more magical.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 2.5 to 6 hours of hiking depending on your chosen itinerary

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation
      • Accommodations
      • Meals
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional
  • The best thing about hiking in Carmel is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. Your guides will accommodate your skill level and preferences and find the most suitable trails in the area. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Comfortable hiking clothes
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For these adventures, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate.

    Hiking in Carmel can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Carmel-by-the-Sea, most people fly into San Jose, just an hour away from your meeting point. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in California please refer to the California Official State Visitor’s Guide and Travel Planner.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Day Trips Cancellations
    Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
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