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

    Salmon Creek Falls

    5.0
    0.29 mi / 102 ft gain
    The trailhead to Salmon Creek Falls is located along a pullout just 45 miles south of Pfieffer Burns State Park on the Highway 1. The falls are only about .25 miles from the trailhead, perfect for a quick visit if you are already driving through Big Sur. Though the Salmon Creek Trail continues on...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Soberanes Point

    1.82 mi / 295 ft gain
    Garrapata State Park is located along California's Highway 1, roughly 5 miles south of Carmel, California. The park is entirely free with multiple pull-outs and serves as one of the first grand views travelers encounter while heading south from the Monterey Peninsula to southern California. Garra...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Secluded Beach Near Soberanes Point

    5.0
    0.2 mi / 40 ft gain
    When we stumbled upon this beach we were thrilled to have such great views with no crowds.  There is plenty of room to lay out in the sun, you can swim in the ocean to cool off, and the beach is surrounded by beautiful landscape.  If you decide to swim be very careful as the waves and currents ca...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Hike to the Top of Inspiration Point

    5.0
    1.3 mi / 850 ft gain
    This magnificent trail was recently converted into part of the Monterey Regional Parks System. Walk through pastures of cows, through coast oaks, up a steep incline with vast views of Carmel Valley, Carmel and the Pacific Ocean up to the top where a picnic table awaits you at Inspiration Point. T...
    Read more
  • San Simeon, California

    Ragged Point Trail

    4.5
    0.81 mi / 249 ft gain
    Ragged Point is a quick stop off Hwy1 in Big Sur. It offers amazing vistas of where the mountains meet the ocean. There are scenic spots overlooking both the North and the South. The southern vista overlooks San Carpoforo Creek. Big Sur is truly one of the most beautiful places in California, and...
    Read more
  • Sand City, California

    Bikepack Highway 1: Monterey to San Luis Obispo

    130 mi / 9000 ft gain
    Please be aware that this is NOT a route for beginning cyclist. It is a very hilly route and you will be sharing the road with cars for the entire route, the shoulder is sometimes very slim. This should not scare you from doing the trip, just be aware of the risks and dangers you might be facing....
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Whalers Cove Loop

    4.3
    1.42 mi / 253 ft gain
    Point Lobos is one of the hidden gems of the California coast. Located just off of Route 1 right after Monterey, Point Lobos is a state park on the coast. The cost to explore inside is ten dollars, but so worth it. As you explore, be sure to hike around Whalers Cove, which is incredible at sunse...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Hike along the Carmel River Beach Trail

    1 mi / 100 ft gain
    Known as "Ribera Beach" by locals, this stretch of land nestled between Carmel River State Beach and Monastery Beach is not to be missed! The trails are easy to get to and can be accessed by 4 locations. The first entrance is on Highway 1 at the Bay School (between Ribera Road and Monastery Beach...
    Read more
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Catch a Sunset at Carmel Beach

    4.7
    It’s a dream of mine to live in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  You might recognize Carmel because Clint Eastwood was the mayor from 1986 to 1988.  An idiosyncrasy you may not know about Carmel is the fact that there are no street addresses on any house in Carmel.  Everyone gets their mail at the post office...
    Read more
  • Marina, California

    Explore Fort Ord Dunes State Park

    5.0
    One of the best parts of Monterey is the beaches – but their popularity is also their weakness, so if you want seclusion head to the lesser-known Fort Ord Dunes for solitude and beautiful views of Monterey Bay and the Pacific Coast. Historically, this location was chosen as the location for Fort ...
    Read more
  • Monterey, California

    Sail on Monterey Bay

    Few places along the California coast are perfectly suited for a day of sailing. While San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Long Beach, San Francisco, and Catalina Island offer sailing adventures, none of them offer wide open Pacific waters without dangerous commercial traffic to navigate. The...
    Read more
  • Marina, California

    Surf, Run, or Catch a Sunset at Marina State Beach

    From the moment you turn into the parking lot, you know Marina State Beach is special. Grab a parking spot in the large lot and then run down the dunes and onto the shoreline! The beach feels spacious on this section of the shore and gives plenty of room to run around or to put down a blanket to ...
    Read more
  • Del Monte Forest, California

    Explore Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur

    4.6
    Being from the Central Coast, every time I visit the area I like to do the same trip - Simply because it is amazing. The trip starts along 17 mile drive located in Carmel. From the road, you see the Central Coast icon, the Lone Cypress. Being one of the most photographed trees in North America, i...
    Read more
  • Pacific Grove, California

    Explore Lovers Point

    5.0
    LOVERS POINT PARK AND BEACH:According to local legend, this park was originally called "Lovers of Jesus Point," back in the era when Pacific Grove was a Methodist retreat camp. Since the late 1800s, the beach at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove has been a popular spot for boating and swimming, and o...
    Read more
  • Pacific Grove, California

    Play Volleyball at Asilomar Conference Grounds

    Asilomar translates to “refuge by the sea,” a phrase that accurately depicts the Asilomar Conference Grounds. The area started as a YWCA women’s empowerment camp in 1913 and has since transitioned into a well-preserved state beach. It is located in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.  If you find y...
    Read more
  • Pacific Grove, California

    Exploring Asilomar's Ancient Sand Dunes

    4.0
    Asilomar State Beach covers 107 acres of land. It is home to a delicate ecosystem that has been sustained through the years after it was almost destroyed. The intricate dunes at Asilomar are what have survived after the over-grazing back in the early 1900's that damaged about 480 acres of dunes. ...
    Read more