Friday, August 15, 2014

top 10 hikes in Monterey

After we moved to Monterey we googled hikes and discovered a list of the top 10 9 day hikes. Over the 18 months we lived there we steadily crossed each one off our bucket list. And FINALLY, it is time for a recap in pictures. Hopefully those who are still in Monterey (or will be moving there soon) can use this list and see some of the amazing things Monterey has to offer. Note: I will probably say that each one has an amazing view, and well, that's because they all did! Welcome to Monterey!!

1. Jack's Peak: This was actually really close to our house and an easy quick hike. You can practically drive all the way to the view point. Unfortunately it was a cloudy summer day when we were up there so we couldn't see the amazing view, but I took a picture of the map so you could see what was out there. 

playing at the picnic tables

you can supposedly see all of the bay

what we actually saw

2. Point Lobos: this has to be one of our favorite spots in all of Monterey. It was minutes from our house and I think we took every person who visited us here. You could pay, drive in, park, and walk to an amazing view in minutes. Or, you can park just outside the entrance and walk in (about a mile or less). None of the hikes we went on within the park were very hard, and almost all were right along the water. Sunset was the best time to go....

auntie kathy got to check it out when she was visiting

an evening stroll with the family

3. Andrew Molera State Park: This spot is on the way to Big Sur. It is so inconspicuous you could drive right past it without realizing. There are many hikes to do out here, but we only did the short and sweet one that takes you to the ocean. It is flat and about 3 miles round trip. Easy peasy, especially if you have little ones who want to do a little walking themselves. And boy is it beautiful! Think about bringing a lunch and blanket and enjoying the view while you eat. 

an awesome accessible beach!

it was a little overcast when we took aunt karen, but still fun

4. Toro Park: this was one of the hardest hikes we went on. And it was deceiving. It was flat for a long time and then all of a sudden it went up up up!! But the view of the valley is totally worth it! Plus, you feel like you got a good workout in. Your buns and calves will be sore the next day. 

top of the world 

running around at the top!

5. Garland Ranch: This park is located in Carmel Valley, and it is typically always sunny here, which makes hiking awesome. Plus, this park is off leash dog friendly. The first time we came out here we took Harley and hiked a few miles to a little pond. It wasn't too bad at all, well Harley might disagree....he was exhausted by the time we got back to the car. 


had to stop for a little swim for Mr H!

family selfie
 And when it came time for Charlotte's one year photos, we came back to the park and got some amazing photographs!

6. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: This hike is right off the road, near Big Sur and is super easy. Flat, short, and great views of the ocean and a waterfall. I think it was one of the first hikes we took after moving to Monterey.

look how tiny our peanut was!!
7. Garrapata State Park: This is definitely the hardest hike on the list, but offers some amazing views of not only the ocean, but some redwood trees as well. It is not too far from Big Sur, right off the 1. The first time we did this hike it took us around 3 hours. We went up the front and down the back through the trees. It was super steep in the back and quite scary with Charlotte in the hiking backpack. So the second time we came up the back and down the front, which was still hard but not as steep. It took us about 2.5 hours. And after you complete this hike, you can reward yourself with food and drinks at the Big Sur River Inn and Restaurant. 

the first time we hiked it, look how exhausted matt looks! 
cool and relaxed in the redwood trees

our second time up, someone wanted to hike by themselves for a bit

at the top! 
we dragged Sara and Peter out with us

we killed it!

enjoying the river after our big hike
 8. Pinnacles National Park: This park is about an hour and a half from Monterey. It has beautiful peaks and the hike is mostly flat with a small portion through a cave. If you are looking for an all day adventure, plan on this hike, followed by lunch and maybe a little wine tasting in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Sounds divine to me!

coming out of the cave. Daddy had to get himself and Charlotte through it

we took my Mom out to Pinnacles when she came to visit
9. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: This park is right in the middle of Big Sur when you go through the trees. When we came, the main hike (Buzzard's Roost Trail) was closed due to the fires that had swept through the area a few months prior. We took a different, shorter hike, and still had a great time. I wish we had gone to see the beach associated with this park, but we didn't have the time. I have seen pictures and would highly recommend it!

at the lookout point

awesome trees

 10. Limekiln State Park: So we never made it out to this park. :( It was pretty far out of town and with all the chaos in the last few months we were living in Monterey, it was just wasn't possible. Considering how much we liked all the other places on the list, I would try and make it out here if you can.