Hiking Garrapata State Park + Enjoying Carmel by the Sea

Hi friends! First things first: Happy National Registered Dietitian Day! Lindsay has a great round up of over 125 dietitians who have blogs on her site today – check it out if you’re looking to add some new blogs to your daily reading. :) I’m celebrating the day at a reception tonight hosted by the DC Dietitian Association, of which I’m a member. A couple relevant posts from the archives for this day:

Also, in case you’re wondering, RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) and RD (Registered Dietitian) is the same thing. :) It’s just general “nutritionist” that does not = RD or RDN.

Anyway! When Matt and I made plans to head out to California for the wedding this past weekend, we decided to stay an extra day to make the most of traveling all the way out there. We were originally supposed to leave on Monday morning, but changed to a red eye on Monday night last minute when we had to change our outbound flight from DC from Thursday to Friday due to snow.

As such, on Sunday we had the whole day to explore! I had booked us a B&B in nearby Carmel by the Sea, and it was again a gorgeous day, so we decided another hike was in order. This time over at Garrapata State Park, which Heather recommended to us.


The park was stunning – the mountain + ocean combo is hard to beat, especially when accompanied by blue skies.

We headed up and up and up with increasingly gorgeous views of the water/coastline below.


After hiking for awhile, the trail kept getting less and less like a trail, and more and more like we were just hiking in bushes. Realizing that we had somehow gone off the beaten path but not feeling like going all the way back and around, we decided to just keep going and see what happened. We couldn’t get lost since we could see everything for miles, after all!



We could see people hiking on the established trails a little ways away from us all looking over like, “what are those crazy people doing?!” We decided to forge on to a little summit of the hill we were climbing, then assess the situation from there to see if we could somehow cross over to the normal path, or if we would have to go all the way back. 


Made it! From the mini-summit, it LOOKED like we could hopefully come up over another summit and link up with the normal trail, so we kept going, fingers crossed. It was getting steep and we didn’t want to have to hike back down the way we came!



There’s the trail! But… how do we get there?!


Eventually, on our last summit, I heard Matt yell back that he had found the actual trail. WHEW! Hiking back down that super steep part would not have been awesome. We made it!!


From there, we took the real trail up to the real summit. :)


The views were amazing!



Instead of heading back down the trail to the cars on the shorter out and back route, we decided to do the full loop, which would mean we’d cover about 6 miles. We heard it would take us down into some beautiful Redwood forested areas!



The trail was steep and dusty so a little slippery at times – we took our time heading down.


After awhile, we reached the forest! It was so beautiful and peaceful in there.




Pretty flowers, too – and what looked like enormous clovers!

hiking in garrapata state park

The final bit of the hike included cactus! Neat.



And that was that! We were EXHAUSTED by the end of it after all that steep climbing! It took us about 4 hours, too – again because we went off the trail and it took longer to climb. Awesome hike either way, though – would definitely recommend it if you’re in the area! The shorter up and back with the amazing views takes about 2 hours if you stay on the real trail. :)

After having some snacks, we checked in to our B&B, which was the adorable Sea View Inn in Carmel. Highly recommend this place – everyone was super nice, our room was really cozy, and it was in a cute neighborhood walking distance to the beach and the main walking area in Carmel.


Enjoying wine on the porch:


For dinner that night, we walked over to Flying Fish Grill, which is a seafood place with an Asian flair. It was really good! Cozy, too.


flying fish grill Carmel CA

As for Monday, we slept in, had breakfast at the inn, and then walked along the beach for awhile with our coffee while enjoying the views and fresh air.


After checking out of the B&B, we hit up the Earthbound Farm Stand/Café for one more salad (and green juice) before hitting the road to San Francisco.


I want these bowls – so beautiful!


We made it to San Francisco in time for a quick look at the famous Golden Gate Bridge:



The view cleared up some before we left – so pretty.


And then met our friends Elle & Rob for a quick dinner at Tacolicious (amazing) in the Mission before heading off to the airport. Great end to an awesome trip!

Have a great day, everyone!


  1. 1

    Wow incredible place to go hiking! LOVE tuna! Only way to eat tuna steak is rare, looks beautiful!

  2. 2

    thanks for linking to my post! happy rd day :)

  3. 3

    Wow! What a beautiful hike! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to California, but I’d love to go back and explore some more. It looks so stunning. Happy RD day!!

  4. 4

    Your trip looks amazing! I can’t wait for the weather to warm up and the sun to stay out. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. 5

    I’m from Carmel and this makes me miss home so much!! Love hiking Sobranes–I can definitely relate to not knowing exactly where the trail is haha

  6. 6

    Happy RD Day, Anne!

  7. 7

    this post definitely made me miss home! i’m from the Bay Area but studying down in LA… and i can’t wait to be back in the Bay!

    all those eats look so good, especially those salads!

  8. 8

    I spent the weekend in California too! I’m a west coast person all the way…love the mountain + cliff + ocean combo<3.

  9. 9

    I went to Carmel by the Sea a few years ago. Isn’t it just the cutest little town?!?! I would love to move there someday, lol. Apparently it’s one of the most dog friendly towns in the country :-)

  10. 11

    This looks amazing!!!! :)

  11. 12
    Heather @ Dietitian on the Run says

    Well, that’s one way to get to the top! The hike is challenging as is…hah! So glad you guys made the most of your time in our little coastal abode :) it was so wonderful to have you out there!! Xo

  12. 14

    So weird – I am going to California soon and I’m staying at that same B&B!! So glad you liked it! Any other recommendations in the area?

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