“A nice neighborhood walk/run with some views and limited vehicular noise.”
— Matthew Kidd
Views · Wildflowers
This is a nice quick loop that is especially good for a little exercise after work.
This loop can be done in either direction, but I slightly prefer the counterclockwise direction because this means descending the Palacio Del Mar Drop
trail with the late afternoon sunlight illuminating the grasses and wildflowers during the season when I most often do this loop.
Begin at a parking lot at the start of Clews Ranch Rd. Head up the Marvin Gerst to Shaw Valley Connector
to pass under Carmel Mountain Rd and turn on to the Del Mar Mesa Equestrian Trail
which has a short steep climb at the beginning. You can stay on the Del Mar Mesa Equestrian Trail
the entire way but the views are better from the Palacio Del Mar Overlook
Briefly rejoin the Del Mar Mesa Equestrian Trail
and then begin the Palacio Del Mar Drop
which has a steep section near the bottom. Finish the loop on the Palacio Del Mar Equestrian Trail
and then hop Carmel Mountain Rd to return to the parking lot via a short stretch of sidewalk or alternatively head north a short distance to cross at the crosswalk which rates to be safer if you have kids in tow.
This is a 3-star run from about December to May after it has rained and turned green, and a 2-star run the rest of the year.
Flora & Fauna
Sunflowers and wild mustard.