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Carmel River State Beach
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Carmel River State Beach:
What is open now?
- Very limited parking is now available to the public.
- Beach – Beaches are open for active recreation with safe social distancing.
- Select toilets will be available.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
- Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
- Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
- Stay Covered: Please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Be "In The Know" about Bonfires
Effective September 16, 2014, California State Parks began banning beach fires on state beaches within the Monterey District to minimize any fire dangers. The state beaches affected by this order include Carmel River, Monastery and Monterey. State Park officials will begin issuing warnings immediately to first-time offenders. All illegal fires will immediately be put out and repeat offenders will be issued citations. For the purposes of cooking, a raised and self-contained gas camp stove may be used.
High fire danger and very little rain this summer, along with the continued degradation of our beaches due to charcoal and soot deposits from beach fires, requires us to rescind our order allowing beach fires. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, but we are taking these steps to ensure public safety and to protect California’s natural resources.
California State Parks officials are rescinding a Superintendent’s Posted Order that allows beach fires without restrictions at the three state beaches mentioned above, and will begin enforcing California Code of Regulations T14 4311(a) which states, "No person shall light, build, use or maintain a fire within any State Park Unit except in a camp stove or a fireplace provided, maintained, or designated by the Department for such purpose".
Other measures recently taken to reduce the risk of wildfires include the US Forest Service and California State Parks banning any wood or charcoal burning fires in the Los Padres Forest or Big Sur in late August.
Please do YOUR part to help keep our beaches CLEAN and SAFE for everyone!
About Carmel River State Beach
On Carmel Bay, the mile-long beach features a bird sanctuary in a lagoon (just before the Carmel River empties into the sea) featuring a wide variety of waterfowl and song birds. Monastery Beach, also known as San Jose Creek Beach, is part of the park and is popular with scuba divers. Swimming, wading or walking near the ocean can be extremely dangerous at this beach.
Location - Directions
- Highway 1 southbound.
- Right on Rio Road.
- Left on Santa Lucia.
- Left on Carmelo.
Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is advised.
Dogs are allowed on leash at this location.