PEBBLE BEACH TRAIL HIKES
Choose your color and go for a hike. Blue, Green, and Red. Hiking in the Del Monte Forest is as easy as putting on your shoes, grabbing a water bottle and picking a color. There are over 26 miles of trails in the Del Monte Forest available to explore on foot or horseback. Along with some good exercise you will be guaranteed dramatic ocean and/or serene golf course views no matter which trail you choose. There is also a good chance that you will see some wildlife on your hike, from deer to hawks to the elusive bobcat.
The best place to start your hike is the internet. Go to the Pebble Beach Resorts website, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the link for the Del Monte Forest map and print it out for a detailed map of all the trails. Each separate trail has a color associated with it, hence the blue, green, and red. There are also connecting trails which are orange, unpaved roads, fire roads and footpaths. The trails are dotted with wooden markers that have color stripes painted on them indicating which trail you are on. There are times where the trails coalesce and times when the separate. The wooden marker will indicate that by either having one color or multiple colors painted at the top. If you look while driving around you will start to notice the wooden markers in places you have driven by numerous times.
As you study the map, you will realize that the trail system is quite extensive and basically covers the whole of the Del Monte Forest. You can hike up top towards Hwy 68, spend your time down towards the ocean, or do a mix of both. There are numerous starting points along the way, so you can start wherever you want and end where you want. Hiking this way creates endless possibilities of visiting the forest and the ocean which helps keep it fun and interesting every time. It also allows one to create a gentle, easy going hike or one that is more arduous and is more of a work out.
My family and I have chosen the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center as the starting point for our hikes. We recently did the “loop” which is a very gentle hike that rewards one with views of Cypress Point golf course and the ocean from Fan Shell Beach to Point Joe and beyond. We took our two boys, ages 7 and 10, and they had no problems completing the trip which took about an hour at a leisurely pace. The trail can get sandy at parts and near the equestrian center is can be quite “horse poopy”. However, the views are well worth some sand in your shoes and dodging some poop. We were treated to a majestic gliding hawk riding the wind one Sunday afternoon, along with a wood pecker and quite a few song birds. If you are new to hiking in the Del Monte Forest, this is a great hike to start with. The trailhead is easy to find at the equestrian center as this is where the guided horse rides start.
As with any other types of hiking, follow the rules…let someone know where and when you are going, take water, wear proper shoes for hiking, and I would suggest bringing a jacket just in case the fog rolls in and the temperature drops. If you have any health concerns, check with your doctor to make sure it is safe before hitting the trails. I hope you take advantage of the wonderful opportunity we have here on the Monterey Peninsula and get out on the trails.