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Molera Beach Super Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (13) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice leisurely stroll on the beach eventually gives way to high ocean views.


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Map Key

7.0

Miles

11.3

KM

86%

Runnable

1,084' 330 m

High

7' 2 m

Low

1,142' 348 m

Up

1,143' 348 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Overview

This is an exceptional easy-to-moderate run with spectacular ocean views and a nice long stretch on the beach.

Be prepared to get your feet wet - it's good to know what the tides are doing on the day you go!

Need to Know

You'll want to be prepared to take off your shoes and wade across shallow streams and light surf depending on the tides. Speaking of tides, when it's high, the beach section may be impassable. Time your run with the tides.

Description

From the trailhead, make your way directly to the beach by heading down Creamery Meadow Trail to the West. You'll first encounter a shallow creek to cross within the first 50 yards of the run. Take your shoes off and wade across.

Once you get to the beach, assuming you've checked the tides to make sure you won't get trapped by the water, take a left and continue down the spectacular Big Sur coastline. There may be a couple rock outcroppings that seem to block further progress down the beach but either wade around them (knee deep when I went) or look for the tunnel underneath one of them.

When you arrive at the cove where you are to begin heading inland onto a regular trail, look for the driftwood log jam. Scramble inland across these logs and in about 50 yards you'll see the Panorama Trail.

From here on out, the trail is pretty self-explanatory. This is also where the majority of the uphill running occurs until one reaches the ridge top. From the ridge top, there is a spectacular view up and down the Big Sur coastline. Once you reach Ridge Trail, follow it to the northwest. The Ridge Trail wanders mostly through lightly forested terrain and with minimal elevation gain, traversing the first ridge to the east of the coast.

At about mile 5.7, look for Hidden Trail - connects Ridge Trail to River Trail. Descend somewhat steeply on this connector to River Trail and follow it back to the trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris Gossage

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 13 votes

#772

Overall
  4.6 from 13 votes
5 Star
69%
4 Star
23%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#132

in California

#772

Overall
122 Views Last Month
5,198 Since May 12, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

8%
8%
46%
0%
38%
0%

Photos

Emerald waters!
Jul 1, 2015 near Carmel…, CA
Beautiful Pacific coastline.
May 14, 2015 near Carmel…, CA
In the surf, Andrew Molera State Park
Jul 1, 2015 near Carmel…, CA
Crashing waves along the beach.
Jan 2, 2021 near Carmel…, CA
River Trail, Andrew Molera.
Jul 1, 2015 near Carmel…, CA
Panorama Trail offers indeed what the name suggests: sweeping panoramas of Andrew Molera State Park.
Jan 2, 2021 near Carmel…, CA

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Check-Ins

Dec 5, 2020
Abihiker C
Jul 1, 2019
Peter O'Farrell
8.3mi
May 17, 2019
Jason Doedderlein
the beach stretch was amazing. The rest, meh 7.8mi
Apr 21, 2018
Steve Jozefczyk
8mi
Nov 2, 2017
Joe Twomey