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Carmel River State Beach: Wikis


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A wave breaks onto Carmel River State Beach

Carmel River State Beach and Park is mile-long beach with a lagoon formed by the Carmel River. The lagoon attracts a large number of migratory birds. The state park includes Monastery Beach, (also called San Jose Creek Beach) which is popular with scuba divers. Kayakers also frequent the beach, which has easy access to Point Lobos Natural Reserve.



In 1602, Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno landed at this beach and planted a cross here.[1] A cross commemorating that marker can be found at the beach today.[2] Gaspar de Portolà, during the Portola expedition, landed on this beach and rested here for several days.

Recreational Activities

Carmel River State Beach is a popular spot for divers and kayakers, who can access the notable kelp forests in the area.

It is also popular with birders, and is a stop on the Central Coast Birding Trail. The best seasons for birding at Carmel River State Beach are fall and winter.[3]

Swimming on this section of the coast can be extremely dangerous because of the strong currents. Carmel River State Beach is considered especially dangerous for swimming, as the steep drop-off from shore can minimize turbulent waves, giving the mistaken impression of a calm sea.


The park is located adjacent to Highway One, about one mile south of Rio Road in Carmel, north of the Big Sur coast in Monterey County, California.

Carmel River State Beach

36°31′56″N 121°55′37″W / 36.5321836°N 121.9268990°W / 36.5321836; -121.9268990[4]


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