Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A forested hillside trail in Garland Park: steep Laureles Trail

Ascending on Laureles Trail to a grassy ridge 
in the southeast section of Garland Park
Laureles Trail in Garland Ranch Regional Park, California, connects the Carmel River Trail with the Vasquez Ridge. This one-and-a-quarter-mile-long trail winds uphill through oak and laurel woodland. Forest openings alongside the upper section of the trail offer magnificent views of Carmel Valley Village. Once you are arriving at the grassy ridge, you'll find a bench near the trail junction, from which you may want to check out the short dead-end trail to the left. Otherwise, there are various west-bound hiking options including a Vasquez Trail, Saddle Trail, Spring Trail loop hike and a downhill-and-return hike on Gabilan Trail, leading back to the River Trail. 

Carmel Valley Village seen from Laureles Trail
Getting there
While driving east on Carmel Valley Road, pass the central part of Carmel Valley Village and turn right onto Esquiline Road. Cross the Carmel River via Rosie's Bridge and turn right onto De Los Helechos Road. Find a parking spot close to the end of this dead-end road. Parking space in this residential area is limited. Walk through the Lazy Oaks right-of-way section towards the park entrance. Follow the River Trail until you see the post at which the left-forking Laureles Trail begins.

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