A trip isn’t complete without exploring a trail or two for outdoor-loving girls like us.
Considering how extremely dog-friendly Carmel was, I found it hard to believe that it was difficult to find a dog-friendly trail nearby. I managed to find one in Jacks Peak County Park in Monterey, CA, so off we went.
I should mention that the park has a $2 pet entrance fee per household and a maximum of two pets is allowed. After paying $2/vehicle then $2 for Xena, we drove up to the parking lot.
We began the hike from Skyline Trail on a gentle uphill located on the southwest side of the parking lot. Skyline Trail presented us with a quick view of Carmel Bay at the beginning of the hike.
You can also start this hike from Jack’s Peak Trail and connect with Skyline Trail if you desire to do a slightly shorter version of the hike.
Since it was on a weekday, this lightly-trafficked trail was even more empty. We only ran into a couple with a dog. It was a beautiful day for a hike.
After we passed the Coffeeberry Trail (also dog-friendly) junction and the Jacks Peak Trail junction, Skyline Trail began to curve toward the south. Here, we were presented with more views.
At the 0.7-mile marker, we came to a junction where Skyline Trail, Jacks Peak Trail, and Iris Trail met. If you only have time for a mini nature walk, take Jacks Peak Trail and head back to the parking lot. If you want to follow the 2.5-mile loop we did, take Iris Trail and enjoy the serenity.
At the 1.8-mile marker, Iris Trail turns into Rhus Trail. Stay on Rhus Trail until you come to Jacks Peak Trail. Now, take Jacks Peak Trail towards the parking lot.
This hike is short, sweet, and good for the whole family. However, use caution if you are allergic to poison oak. Generally, dogs are not bothered by poison oak as much because they have a layer of protection called the fur. However, if their skin makes contact with poison oak, they may develop a horrible rash, some turning into blisters. Xena and I have been lucky in that sense. It never bothered us.
It’s a very good thing because off-trail shenanigans are unavoidable. 😉 Remember to finish all hikes with a tick check!
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 4.22.19
- Distance: 2.5 miles RT with an option to extend
- Elevation Gain: 505 ft
- Maximum Altitude: 1,084 ft
- Difficulty Rating: Moderate
- Trailhead: Jacks Peak County Park
- Fee/Permit: $2 daily use/vehicle & $2/pets up to 2
- Vault toilets available
- Notable: Coastal views, poison oak, family-friendly, wildflowers