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California whitewater, Carmel River

Monterey county, Los Padres Reservoir to Carmel Valley section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III(IV)     10 miles
  The put-in is not too far from Salinas, as you can see on the road map further down. The Los Padres Reservoir to Carmel Valley stretch of Carmel River in Monterey County is 10 miles long and it is classified as a class II-III(IV) section by American Whitewater. If you have the time you can make this a two day trip, so go ahead and pack your camping stuff. The natural beauty of Monterey County and the cool fresh water are in themselves
    reasons enough to come here to paddle. If you're a camper you can camp at one of the great campgrounds nearby. A good workout and spending some quality time in nature have people coming from far and near. If you'll be staying
in a hotel you're in luck, lodging is available very near the river, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking around here you won't find a large number of other spots. The Los Padres Reservoir to Carmel Valley stretch is one of a few paddling stretches in this river system. The Santa Lucia Range scenery is wonderful. Whitewater rafting and kayaking in this state  
is often more difficult than elsewhere, so don't forget that rivers here are not as easy as elsewhere.

Briefly about the general area:
Andrew Molera State Park is a delightful place; a tour to Wreck Beach is always a fine idea. There's no way somebody can get bored here in the Santa Lucia Range. Near Carmel River you locate the Rattlesnake Creek Trail which is a fine hiking trail. Places like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are great to go to, and there is a great hiking trail nearby called the San Clemente Trail. You'll meet a lot of folks from Carmel Valley here; if you want to hit the beach, Pfeiffer Beach is in the vicinity.

Carmel River, Los Padres Reservoir to Carmel Valley road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Carmel River.
 Whitewater Near Carmel River:
Carmel River, Monterey County, 3 miles away
      Class II-III(IV) - 10 miles long (Los Padres Reservoir to Carmel Valley)
Little Sur River, Monterey County, 9 miles away
      Class III-IV - 7 miles long (Pico Blanco B South Carolina to Highway 1)
Big Sur River, Monterey County, 12 miles away
      Class II+ - 4 miles long (Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to Motels)
Arroyo Seco River, Monterey County, 18 miles away
      Class IV(V) - 3 miles long (Willowcreek Bridge to Arroyo Seco Picnic Area)
Arroyo Seco River, Monterey County, 18 miles away
      Class III - 14.5 miles long (Arroyo Seco Picnic Area to Route G16 bridge)
San Antonio, Monterey County, 30 miles away
      Class II - 10.7 miles long (Above and down to Mission San Antonio de Padua)
 Marinas Near Carmel River:
Marina Motorsports, Marina , 16 miles away
Marina Sanitary Landfill, Marina , 16 miles away
Marina Dunes RV Park, Marina , 17 miles away
Breakwater Cove Marina, Monterey , 17 miles away
Kanassky Marina, Carmel , 17 miles away
 Beaches Near Carmel River:
Wreck Beach, Monterey , 13 miles away
Pfeiffer Beach, Monterey , 14 miles away
Del Monte Beach, Monterey , 16 miles away
Monastery Beach, Monterey , 17 miles away
San Carlos Beach, Monterey , 17 miles away
 Hotels Near Carmel River:
Bernardus Lodge And Spa, Carmel Valley , 6 miles away
Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel-by-the-Sea , 9 miles away
Vision Quest Safari Bed And Br, Salinas , 10 miles away
Tally Ho Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea , 11 miles away
Quail Lodge And Golf Club, Carmel-by-the-Sea , 12 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Carmel River:
Rattlesnake Campground, Monterey County, 3 miles away
Pat Springs Trailcamp, Carmel, 5 miles away
Big Pines Trailcamp, Carmel, 5 miles away
 Trails Near Carmel River:
San Clemente Trail, Monterey , 3 miles away,  7 hiking miles, 714 feet elevation difference
Rattlesnake Creek Trail, Monterey , 3 miles away,  7 hiking miles, 1350 feet elevation difference
Carmel River Trail, Monterey , 4 miles away,  29.4 hiking miles, 3023 feet elevation difference
Hennicksons Ridge Trail, Monterey , 5 miles away, 5.9 hiking miles, 2356 feet elevation difference
Miller Canyon Trail, Monterey , 8 miles away,  15.6 hiking miles, 2327 feet elevation difference
Pine Ridge Trail, Monterey , 9 miles away, 20.1 hiking miles, 4802 feet elevation difference
Church Creek Trail, Monterey , 10 miles away,  3.8 hiking miles, 1279 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Carmel River:
Pinnacles National Monument, Paicines - CA , 47 miles away
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California , 11 miles away
Andrew Molera State Park, California , 12 miles away
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California , 14 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Carmel River:
Preserve Golf Club, Carmel , 7 miles away
Corral De Tierra Country Club, Salinas , 8 miles away
Pasadera Country Club, Monterey , 10 miles away
 Lakes Near Carmel River
White Rock Lake, Monterey , 5 miles away
Carr Lake, Monterey , 15 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.