Big Sur offers picturesque coastal hikes. Photo © Stuart Thornton.

The Best Hikes in Monterey and Carmel

The Monterey and Carmel region contains outstanding hiking trails for all levels of hikers. Here’s a list of the best, including everything from an easy leg-stretching hike to a strenuous multiday backpacking adventure.

A red dirt trail cuts between brush and cacti.

Phoenix Day Hike: Spur Cross and Elephant Mountain Loop

This trek crosses Cave Creek (the body of water, not the town), climbs up and over Elephant Mountain, and offers a visit to a working water spring and an ancient ruin. Be one of the first in The Valley to travel these new trails just north of Cave Creek’s main drag.