TAKE A HIKE IN BIG SUR
Carmel is only minutes away from the beautiful scenery of Big Sur. Big Sur is a 100 mile stretch of coastline along Highway One that begins just south of Carmel.
One of my favorite spots is Garrapata State Park. This park is very poorly marked and the trail guide had warned me that the best marker was a small metal barn on the east side of the road just before the park. It is located on Highway 1, 6.7 miles south of Rio Road in Carmel (18 miles north of Big Sur).
We took the gentle coastal path on the west side of the highway which allows you to make about a two mile loop along the outstanding coastal headlands at Soberanes Point. Park along the road and make your way down the path. When you enter the gate your first view is of the wildflowers and Whale’s Peak in front of you.
As you continue, the trail loops to the right and opens up to glorious views of the ocean.
With every step a new vista appeared and I “oohed” and “aahed” and shot photo after photo.
Sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters and California gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration. But this day it was vegetation and wonderful rock formations that caught my eye. To make things even better, the fog started rolling it.
The red vegetation that catches your eye is ice plant. After the dry summer it turns this wonderful color.
After the 20th or so photo, my husband who was leading the way realized that once more he had been duped into a photography session rather than the hike he so longed for.
We quickened the pace. Still we were treated to views of the sea stacks rising out of the thickening fog.