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Carmel River State Beach
As a reminder, Californians are encouraged to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. Everyone has the responsibility to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Park phone contact: (831) 649-2836
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Carmel River State Beach:
What is open now?
- The beach is open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
- There is no campground at Carmel River State Beach.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- 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 to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Restrooms will be temporarily closed in order to keep up with cleaning schedules.
- Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. Even though the department has increased access across the State Park System, the need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.
For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
DOLAN FIRE - WHAT'S OPEN UPDATE
California State Parks has reopened Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Andrew Molera State Park for active recreation. Some walking trails are open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis. Social distancing protocols of maintaining a 6-ft distance and wearing masks are required.
Also opened is the Soberanes Canyon Trail in Garrapata State Park –located on the east side of Highway 1. California State Parks continues to work to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved.
Due to the Dolan Fire burning across the southern region of Monterey County, California State Parks urges the public to avoid traveling to impacted areas/park units in Monterey County due to safety and health concerns for any visitors. Air quality remains poor throughout the state.
Current Park Closures
The following State Parks, including all campgrounds, day use areas, and hiking trails, are already closed due to fire and/or traffic concerns on Highway 1 in the greater vicinity of the Dolan Fire:
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
- John Little State Natural Reserve
- Limekiln State Park
- Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
- Point Sur State Historic Park
California State Parks is asking for the public’s cooperation at this time when our state is severely impacted by the multiple fires burning throughout the state, including fires in Monterey County and in neighboring Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. Your assistance is appreciated!
For additional information about the Dolan Fire, please see the below resources:
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.
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!
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.