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Carmel River State Beach (aka Stewart's Cove)

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Dike Wall 
Fin, The 
Gamewize Boulder 
King Otter's Castle 
Neptune's Landing 

Carmel River State Beach (aka Stewart's Cove) 

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Location: 36.5388, -121.9278 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,549
Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Benjamin Chapman on Sep 16, 2012
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Stewart's Cove boulders. The Fin on the left and K...


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.

6 Total Routes

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

Featured Route For Carmel River State Beach (aka Stewart's Cove)
Making the move to the jug at the top of "Sea Slug."

Sea Slug V-easy 3  CA : Central Coast : ... : The Fin
Work the feet up on the horizontals below the bulge and reach for a shallow sidepull for the left hand. Pull up and palm the rounded right side of the bulge. Work the feet up to a horizontal, lock off, and reach for the committing, but secure jug at the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Carmel River State Beach (aka Stewart's Cove) Slideshow Add Photo
Boulders at Carmel River State Beach, below the point Scenic Road turns east. Locals refer to this area as Stewart's Cove. From left to right; Gamewize Boulder, The Fin, King Otter's Castle, and Neptune's Landing.
Boulders at Carmel River State Beach, below the po...
Sign above the steps at Stewart's Cove or Carmel River State Beach.
Sign above the steps at Stewart's Cove or Carmel R...
Porphyritic Granite at Carmel River State Beach. Very solid and pleasant to climb on, but rough on the fingertips.
Porphyritic Granite at Carmel River State Beach. V...
Stewart's Cove at sunset.
Stewart's Cove at sunset.
You have arrived at Carmel River State Beach.
You have arrived at Carmel River State Beach.
Comments on Carmel River State Beach (aka Stewart's Cove) 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

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
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.