Palo Corona Regional Park

entrance
Palo Corona is a fairly new park just south of Carmel – until the state builds a parking lot for it, access is limited to 13 cars a day – you have to apply for a permit 48 hours in advance to get the magic code to open the door – and you just leave your car on the shoulder of the highway (there’s plenty of space for safe parking)
ridge
Inspiration Point is at the top of this ridge – you can see the nicely paved trail cutting into the hill on the left
P1020508
there’s a porta potty behind the barn, but that’s it for facilities – unless you’re a cow – there’s lots of great facilities for cows throughout this park because it doubles as a working ranch – be ready to dodge fragrant cow patties
bunny
we were surprised to see lots of bunnies, our first since we moved to this area
squirrel
and less surprised to see lots of squirrels
foothills
looking back toward the barn/highway/ocean from the foothills – you can see how nice the trail is (because it’s really a one-lane road for the people running the ranch)
storybook
the vibe is different once you reach the trees – I always enjoy entering a heavily treed area because it usually feels like a fairy tale – even Hansel and Gretel had fun for a little while – I think Hansel got to eat butter and bacon and shit while he was fattening up in that cage
uphill
though most of the hike is pretty easy, there are stretches with a bit of an incline
valley
near the top, looking toward Carmel Valley
dropoff
CAUTION: Drop Off
Inspiration Point
the view from Inspiration Point at the top – the bit of land sticking out into the ocean on the right is Pebble Beach – our town (Pacific Grove) is just past that but not visible
P1020685
here’s that drop off
hawk
juvenile hawk
P1020725
the only house under half a million between Carmel and Big Sur (apologies to Instagram people who already heard that joke)
dirty water
Palo Corona trail ends at Animas Pond, which supposedly houses a rare frog – we didn’t see frogs or any other life forms in the stagnant water
moo
a cow, enjoying the facilities

More information about Palo Corona Regional Park can be found here.

The takeaway: Our hike was 6.2 miles total, following the Palo Corona trail to its end at Animas Pond, plus a little bit of wandering around in between. We stopped for a picnic at Inspiration Point, sitting at the picnic table under the big tree. Other than one section with a heart-pumping incline, this is an easy uphill hike with great views of Carmel, Pebble Beach and Carmel Valley. When I applied for a permit, I received a response in less than an hour, though they say you should expect to wait a couple of days. A lot of the trail is exposed to the sun, so wear sunblock.

Oh, and it’s nice to be on a Big Sur-adjacent trail and see very few people.

8 Replies to “Palo Corona Regional Park”

  1. Gee, looks just like Houston, dontchathink?
    Also, don’t think that’s a squirrel…..

    1. It’s funny, Harry, we went back and forth about whether those were squirrels or chipmunks. Only saw one with a striped face, plus they looked too big to be chipmunks. Maybe they’re just of the cornfed chipmunk variety? (Unless you think this is some sort of farm rat–if so, don’t tell me.)

  2. Insert random comment (here). Respond to random comment (here). No response (here).
    You know there was a dirty Greek dude by the name of Aristophanes who wrote a book/play with the title : The Frogs. Nobody makes random comments better then me! Drops the mike and exits the building.

  3. Speaking of Aristophenes, did either of you ever see/watch/view “Adaptations?” Written by a magical writer for the enjoyment of writers. Nick Cage and Meryl Streep were just the left hand.

    1. I mean come on…”fuck fish?” Really, doesn’t that one line just about say it all? Lemme see if I can find the link…crap this new touch screen windows 8 sucks!!! Just look for Adaptation JohnnLaRoche done with fish. God I’m tired.

Comments are closed.