Monterey, California

Monterey, California is a top destination for outdoor adventures, boasting some of the best trails and outdoor activities. A must-visit is the scenic Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This trail offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, unique rock formations, and a diverse array of wildlife. It's a moderate hike, making it suitable for most fitness levels. Another top trail is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, ideal for biking or walking with views of the bay. For water activities, Monterey Bay Kayaks offers guided tours to explore the kelp forests and marine life. Near Monterey, the Pinnacles National Park is a must-visit for rock climbing and bird-watching. These are just a few examples of the outdoor attractions in and near Monterey.

Top Spots in and near Monterey

  • Los Gatos, California

    Mountain Bike Soquel Demonstration Forest

    11 mi / 2070 ft gain
    As with many trail systems there are multiple routes and loops available at Sequel Demonstration forest of varying lengths and difficulty. The 3 main trails are all accessed via the same parking area on highland way. The most popular trail is the all skill levels "Flow" trail, followed by two sho...
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  • Greenfield, California

    Marble Peak Bridge via Arroyo Seco Campground

    4.6
    5.46 mi / 1506 ft gain
    This off-the-beaten-trail adventure has a little bit of everything for everyone and is as challenging as you make it. Many just make it about a mile down to the river for a leisurely day of relaxing, swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a few cold beverages. Others embark on a 5+ mile adventure up ...
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  • Morgan Hill, California

    Uvas Canyon Waterfall Loop

    4.0
    1.48 mi / 463 ft gain
    Uvas Canyon offers up to 6-miles of hiking trails, which includes a 1.5 mile loop, which runs along Swanson Creek and passes many of the park's waterfalls. To take short loop, head North out of the parking lot to the Swanson Creek Trail. Once you find Swanson Creek Trail, you'll be on the Waterfa...
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  • Paicines, California

    Balconies Cave Trail

    2.63 mi / 617 ft gain
    Balconies Cave Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near Paicines, California.
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike the Juniper Canyon, High Peaks, Tunnel Trail Loop in Pinnacles NP

    5.0
    4.3 mi / 1200 ft gain
    Pinnacles National Park is located just over two hours outside of San Francisco (depending on the traffic). It was designated the 59th national park in 2013 and while it is small it offers beautiful views and unique wildlife viewing. Keep an eye out for California condors on this hike! This trail...
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  • Davenport, California

    Hike around Greyhound Beach and Climb Greyhound Rock

    0.7 mi / 0 ft gain
    The trailhead is at the Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area which is directly off Highway 1. There is a large paved parking lot with a good amount of trees so finding a shady parking spot isn't that difficult (if that's important to you). The parking lot is located on the beach cliffs ...
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  • San Benito County, California

    Explore Pinnacles National Park

    4.6
    It’s hard to believe how many people don’t know about this place, which was newly designated as a National Park in January 2013. Pinnacles National Park is hidden just south of San Jose in the Gabilan Mountains, and is a short drive for anyone living in the Bay Area.With beautiful rock spires pie...
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike to Bear Gulch Reservoir in Pinnacles National Park

    3.5
    1.5 mi / 275 ft gain
    Start the hike from the Bear Gulch Trail Parking lot.  While pulling in, the trail head is on the left.  The Trail is marked Reservoir, Caves, and High Peaks.  Continue down the trail until faced with a junction.  Make sure to admire rock formations while hiking!At the junction take the Bear Gulc...
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  • Davenport, California

    Kitesurf Waddell Beach

    4.0
    Just north of Santa Cruz at the far west end of Big Basin State Park, Waddell Beach offers one of California's top spots for kiteboarding.  Each spring and summer, you'll find consistent northwesterly afternoon sea breezes.  With the added bonus of consistent waves from wind and ground swell, Wad...
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  • Gilroy, California

    Redfern Pond via Hunting Hollow

    5.0
    7 mi / 1263 ft gain
    Henry W. Coe State Park, northern California's largest, provides outdoor enthusiasts with over 89,000 acres of land to explore, as well as 22,000 acres of designated wilderness area. With all of this space, the outdoor adventures are seemingly endless. We recommend a multi-day backpacking trip to...
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike the Old Pinnacle Trail in Pinnacles National Park

    5.0
    9 mi / 2000 ft gain
    Start at the Old Pinnacles Trailhead and embark on a roughly 9 mile long adventure surrounded by amazing geological rock formations and natural landscapes. Bask in the peace of nature... meander through meadows alongside the West Fork of Chalone Creek and into Old Pinnacles. Continuing on at the ...
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike the High Peaks & Balconies Cave Loop

    5.0
    8.4 mi / 1540 ft gain
    This hike can begin at Old Pinnacles Trailhead (East Entrance) or Chaparral Trailhead (West Entrance) and can be hiked in either direction. This description is from Old Pinnacles Trailhead, hiking clockwise, which gets the most demanding part of the hike done first. From Old Pinnacles Trailhead w...
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  • Pescadero, California

    Pick Berries at Swanton's Berry Farm

    Take a spectacularly scenic drive or bike ride out to this quaint coastal berry farm. Look out onto the shimmering ocean while you pick the ripest and sweetest berries yourself. Head inside their shop to enjoy pre-made jams, pies, chocolate covered strawberries, and so much more. While you're ins...
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  • Paicines, California

    Camp in Pinnacles National Park

    4.0
    / 1819 ft gain
    Pinnacles Campground is accessible from the east side of the park, and you generally lose cell service about 20 minutes before the park entrance. The campground offers tent camping, group camping, and a handful of RV sites. The tent and group sites have individual picnic tables and fire rings, an...
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  • San Jose, California

    Hike the Quicksilver Trail

    4.3
    5.1 mi / 915 ft gain
    The trails are well maintained and offer good visibility. The trail can be muddy after it rains, and does not have much shade (so bring extra water in the summer).  Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife - this trail is frequently used for bir...
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  • Boulder Creek, California

    Hike to Sempervirens Falls

    4.0
    2.1 mi / 100 ft gain
    The hike to Sempervirens Falls is an easy 2.1 mile out-and-back hike on the Sequoia Trail. You'll travel through the redwood forest and some of the campgrounds located in Big Basin State Park. The hike is pleasant but on occasion, you'll be too close to the road to feel like you're deep in the wi...
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