Visit USA - America's Best Travel Guide

Garrapata State Park

GARRAPATA STATE PARK: This Park is another example of the amazing scenic vista and wildlife habitat so readily found in Central California’s “Big Sur.” If you are looking for a rocky coastline and a dramatically scenic view, Garrapata State Park is just the place for you! Three thousand acres encompass this oasis leading into a stunningly lovely inland area of steep mountains and deep California Redwood canyons. It is nothing short of a hiker’s paradise, with one breathtaking view after the next. The only downside to this park is that it is a bit tricky to find. There are no actual signs, rather 19 marked turnouts along Highway 1 and those can be easily missed if going to fast. Garrapata Beach is at turnouts 18 and 19.

CLIMATE: As with the entire Central coast, Garrapata can experience chilled wind factors and marine layers. Layered clothing is recommended.

ACTIVITIES: Photography, hiking “The Rocky Ridge trail,” on the north ridge of Soberanas Canyon, and the Soberanas Canyon Trail through the redwoods from a extreme 4 ½ mile loop. (Those are only 2 mentioned. There are others) There is also whale watching, during the seasons and of course all sorts of wild life watching. Bicycling is allowed, but on the designated trails only. Scuba diving and any type water sport is not at all recommended, given the rocky coastline and more intense currents. Dogs are only allowed on Garrapata State Beach and must be kept on a leash at all times. Fires are not permitted either.

ACCESSIBLE FEATURES: Rough waters, steep trails and accessible location make this beach inaccessible for those in wheel chairs or with physical disabilities. Camping is not permitted and the camp closes at sunset.

HAZZARDS:
Extremely dangerous surf, riptides, currents.
No swimming, surfing or water activity of any kind is allowed.
Rattlesnakes, ticks and mountain lions live there and it is mandatory that you walk only on recommended trails.

NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST AND OTHER PARKS:
Andrew Molera State Park, 21 miles south of Carmel. (831) 667-2315
Point Sur State Historic Park, 19 miles south of Monterey. (831) 667-2315
Point Lobos State Reserve, 3 miles south of Carmel. (831) 624-4909
Carmel River State Beach, Carmel. (831) 624-4909
Los Padres National Forest
Ventana Inn and Spa
The Post Inn Resort/1200 feet cliffs above the sea with incredible views.
Neptenthe Restaurant, Café Kevah/spectacular views of the coast.
The Mission Ranch, Carmel by the Sea/Owner Clint Eastwood.

by: Carla Iacovetti
©2006Carla Iacovetti