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Carmel Bay

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Carmel Bay Rock Climbing 

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Location: 36.5388, -121.9278 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,329
Administrators: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Benjamin Chapman on Sep 16, 2012
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You have arrived at Carmel River State Beach.


Carmel River State Beach is a collection of porphyritic granite boulders located below Scenic Road on the southern edge of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The boulders are scattered along the rocky prominence at the northwest terminus of the sandy beach at Carmel River State Beach, also locally known as Stewart's Cove. Not really a destination area, but a fun spot to visit if you're in the Monterey area, and you scuba dive, boulder, or just want to enjoy a quiet beach. The rock is excellent, but rough on the finger tips.

Getting There 

Take Scenic Road south from Carmel-by-the-Sea or turn west on Rio Road, south of Carmel, to 16th Avenue and continue west to Carmel River State Beach. There's a small, but FREE, parking area at the beach along with a restroom. No showers.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.3 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Carmel Bay
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling on the rounded flake at the top to finish ...

Manatee 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b V-easy 3  California : Central Coast : ... : King Otter's Castle
Scramble around the tidepool and seaweed to access the left edge of the south face of King Otter's Castle and Manatee. Climb up on horizontals to a series of rounded holds and set up for the reach to the large rounded flake. Pull the flake to the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Carmel Bay Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pano of the general area.
Pano of the general area.
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulders at Carmel River State Beach, below the po...
Boulders at Carmel River State Beach, below the po...
Rock Climbing Photo: Porphyritic Granite at Carmel River State Beach. V...
Porphyritic Granite at Carmel River State Beach. V...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stewart's Cove at sunset.
Stewart's Cove at sunset.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sign above the steps at Stewart's Cove or Carmel R...
Sign above the steps at Stewart's Cove or Carmel R...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stewart's Cove boulders. The Fin on the left and K...
Stewart's Cove boulders. The Fin on the left and K...

Comments on Carmel Bay Add Comment
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By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Sep 19, 2012
Porphyritic is an adjective used in geology, specifically for igneous rocks (eg. granite), for rock that has a distinct difference in the size of the crystals, with at least one group of crystals obviously larger than another group.
By H. Lord
Apr 24, 2013
Something really needs to be fixed with this page, if not removed altogether.

The routes are all listed as "trad" despite being obvious boulder problems, and use sport/trad ratings.

To be fair, I haven't climbed any of these yet for myself, but from the images none of them appear to be much of a problem at all.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
May 29, 2013
"I HAVEN'T CLIMBED ANY OF THESE YET MYSELF,"...yet I have an opinion.

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy........lighten up! It should be painfully obvious that the features at Carmel River are boulders, but the ratings are old school Yosemite Decimal System because not all of us grew up nurtured on John Sherman's V grades. If you haven't got first-hand knowledge of the problems, what's your opinion really worth? Take some time off from your day job, bust a few moves, then weigh in on the quality and ratings. Camel Rriver is the Central Coast, not Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Buttermilks, or Hueco Tanks, so recalibrate your star system to the local datum. And judging from your VAST knowledge and experience downgrading climbs at Echo Cliffs and your lack of "hands on" knowledge at Carmel River, your assessment of Carmel River is dubious, at best. Posting the descriptions and photos was to provide beta about Carmel River for MP subscribers, not the unveiling of a destination area. Otherwise, head to one of the aforementioned hotbeds of bouldering, get your hands dirty, then weigh in with some first-hand beta/spray.
By walkerkiwiranger Walker
Jun 12, 2013
Visited a few weeks ago. Not a bad spot if you want to hang out on the beach and derp around on some small granite formations but the area has little to offer besides that.

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