Monterey County, California

Looking for the best photography in Monterey County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Monterey County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Photography Spots in and near Monterey County

  • Big Sur, California

    Hike to Pfeiffer Falls

    4.0
    2 mi
    This trail is a staff favorite at Big Sur. This family-friendly waterfall trail provides only a moderate challenge for young children and older family members. There are two starting points for this hike depending on where you stashed the car. If you’re parked near the gift shop, the head up the ...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Ventana Campground, Big Sur

    4.6
    This campground is a gem when it comes to Big Sur camping, book here. Each site includes a parking spot, a campfire ring with grill, a picnic table, and plenty of space for 1-2 tents. There are multiple immaculate restroom facilities with showers, clean trash enclosures (emptied and sanitized dai...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Pfeiffer Beach

    4.0
    0.81 mi / 75 ft gain
    Pfeiffer Beach located in Big Sur may truly be one of the most awesome beaches in California...if you can find it. I lived within 40 miles of this beach for over 20 years and just discovered it recently. This beach is located on an unmarked road called Sycamore Canyon Road. On Highway 1, this roa...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Pat Springs via Skinners Ridge

    3.5
    13.18 mi / 3645 ft gain
    Backpacking to Pat Springs is a way to see Big Sur and the San Lucia mountains from a perspective that few get to experience. The Ventana Wilderness is rugged and remote, yet Pat Springs is one of the most beautiful campgrounds around that will allow you to take in this amazing terrain.  To get ...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the East Molera Trail

    3.2 mi / 1390 ft gain
    Housed in Andrew Molera State Park, the East Molera Trail is easily accessible from Highway 1 with parking and restrooms available to hikers. A $10.00 entry fee is required but also provides entrance to Pfieffer Big Sur State Park just a few miles down the road.The trail head is located east of t...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the Andrew Molera State Park Loop

    4.5
    8.8 mi / 1100 ft gain
    The loops starts at the Andrew Molera State Park parking lot (4.5 miles north of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park along Highway 1). Begin by crossing the Big Sur River using the seasonal bridge. If the bridge has been removed, you will need to cross the water by foot. Usually the water...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Sand Dollar Beach

    4.8
    0.35 mi / 82 ft gain
    Head into Big Sur and get a campsite at Plaskett Creek. You can either make a reservation through recreation.gov or show up and hope to luck out on one of the first-come, first-serve campsites. The campground is much more crowded during the prime summer months, so if you want to get better surf ...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the Creamery Meadow Trail to Molera Beach

    2 mi
    Entrance to the parking lot is $10 per car, and once you get in be sure to use the restroom before you head for the trail, since you will likely spend a good amount of time out there.Look for the sign that says Creamery Meadow Trail. You'll know it's right when the very first thing you'll need to...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Andrew Molera State Park

    4.5
    1 mi
    Andrew Molera is about 27 miles south of Carmel and one of the first State Parks you'll hit heading down the coast. There will be signs for the Park as you approach and the main parking lot is only a couple hundred yards from Hwy 1. There are a number of hiking trails and activities to do around ...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Explore San Carpoforo Creek

    4.0
    Just south of Ragged Point, San Carpoforo Creek is an open beach that is fun to explore. There is a quick hike from the highway to the beach.  During heavy rain years, the creek will be flowing deeper, so you might need to do some swimming. There are waves occasionally here with a couple of surfe...
    Read more
  • Monterey County, California

    Camp at San Martin Top

    San Martin Top is a magical spot overlooking the coast in Big Sur. Accessible via a rutted, windy dirt road, it’s remote enough to guarantee some privacy though you’ll see fellow adventurous souls on surrounding ridges. Take care on the drive up, then set up camp overlooking the ocean or rolling ...
    Read more
  • Salinas, California

    Hike or Trail Run around Toro Park

    Just a short drive from downtown Monterey you will find yourself amongst the rugged yet serene hills ofToro Park. For a $2 admission fee you will have access to 20+ miles of trails that climb through canyons and run along ridgelines to peaks with views of the ocean in the distance. While the map ...
    Read more
  • Monterey, California

    Bixby Bridge

    4.7
    You can't miss this bridge if you are driving north on highway one. The best time for capturing sunsets behind the bridge is December. The positioning of the sun will better coincide with the location of the bridge.There are four main angles to capture the bridge: The first two are up close on ...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Calla Lily Valley

    4.5
    0.31 mi / 46 ft gain
    Parking for Calla Lily Valley is available along the dirt pullout at Gate 19 for Garrapata State Park, near mile-marker 63. Signs are small and difficult to see. Follow the path between the guide wires and take the right fork, heading north to the bluff overlooking the beach. Continue north and f...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Garrapata Beach

    4.6
    A wonderful roadside beach and state park. Easy parking on both sides of Hwy. 1 with short access trails. There are almost 2 miles of coastline trails heading north and south from the parking area. The north end of the beach is great for swimming and surfing when the sea is calm and the south ...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Salmon Creek Trail to Spruce & Estrella Camps

    4.5
    6.07 mi / 1919 ft gain
    Feel free to hike Salmon Creek Trail at your own pace – you can choose to turn back at any point, or at the Spruce (2 miles in) or Estrella (3.25 miles in) sites. The trail leads to open vistas of the coast, giving stunning views of the cliffs and ocean. Around 2 miles in, follow the fork to the...
    Read more