Carmel River State Beach

Carmel River State Beach

Carmel River State Beach

Carmel River State Beach is popular with divers, kayakers, and birders. Only a mile long, Carmel River State Beach includes the Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands Natural Reserve, a popular birding area, and Monastery Beach, a popular diving area directly north of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This beach was an important spot for the Rumsien tribe. A cross at the beach commemorates one placed there by Spanish explorers in the 17th century. Swimming is not recommended at Carmel River State Beach, as the water is known for its unpredictable riptides.

Kayaking

Carmel River State Beach is a popular kayak launch spot. It has easy access to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Take a good look at the deeper ocean before you launch; the unusual drop-off near shore at Carmel River State Beach can make the sea look deceptively calm if you are only eyeing the waves at the shore.

Diving

The most popular diving spot at Carmel River State Beach is Monastery Beach, named after the Monastery of Our Lady and St. Theresa just across Highway 1. The kelp forests in the area provide a home to a wide array of marine life. This beach has a significant drop-off, leading to steep rocky pinnacles that are a diver favorite.

Carmel River State Beach can have severe riptides, and due to its steep drop-off can look deceptively calm. Please be cautious if diving at Carmel River State Beach. Divers are advised to enter at the far north or far south end only, and to avoid the center.

Birding

Carmel River State Beach is a stop on the Central Coast Birding Trail. While fall and winter is considered the best season for birding in the area, birders are likely to spot many species no matter the season.

The Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands Natural Preserve is located at the north end of Carmel River State Beach. It is a good area for spotting the Great Blue Heron, the Virginia Rail, the Brown Pelican, the Greater Yellowlegs, and many types of gulls, egrets and terns. Follow the river upstream from the lagoon to spot Downy Woodpeckers, several breeds of Vireos and Warblers, and many more birds,

Map and Directions

From Highway 1, head west on Rio Road (one mile south of Ocean Avenue). Turn left on Carmelo Street to access the parking lot.


View Larger Map

Lay of the Land

click to enlarge map

Lay of the Land

LayoftheLand

VIEW MONTEREY COUNTY MAP

County Map

VIEW DETAILED MAPS

Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

WANT TO GET HERE FAST?

Fly direct from these five airports:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

x
Sign up for our eNewsletter!
Monterey County's monthly newsletter keeps you up-to-date with upcoming event information, itinerary ideas, occasional contests & more.

more

Free Travel Guide
Get your digital guide now!
Find out everything there is to see and do in Monterey County with the 2014 Offi... more

 

Monterey Spotlight
 
 

Featured Events

Nov
6
2014

Big Sur Food & Wine

Nov. 6-Nov. 8
The Big Sur Food and Wine Festival is a celebration of the creative culinary arts…more
Nov
16
2014

Big Sur Half Marathon

Nov. 16
The 12th presentation of the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay to be held…more
Nov
18
2014

Callaway Golf Invitational

Nov. 18-Nov. 23
The Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational attracts professional and amateur…more
Nov
21
2014

Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival and Cowboy Art & Western…

Nov. 21-Nov. 23
The very special 16th Annual Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival and Cowboy…more
All

Activities

FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards
Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

Fisherman's Wharf Association
The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…
Aug 1, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

Flash Your Badge and receive 20% discount off any treatment 50-minutes or…

Vista Blue Spa at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Located over the tranquil Monterey Bay, Vista Blue Spa is on the top floor of the…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…
Apr 16, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

See Monterey

Carmel Food Tours
Save 10% on each ticket purchased when you use the code MCCVB

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …
All