Here's a couple of recent photos of the park from my garden. The highest point in the first photo is the top of Snively's Ridge and in the second photo Snively's Ridge descends into the center of the photo and the top of the ridge behind is the Vasquez Knob.
Here's the view from the highest point on Snively's Ridge looking down into my neighborhood.
From this angle you can see down the Snively's Ridge trail and on the right is the Vasquez Knob. Off to the left is Carmel Valley Village where the defunct airstrip is still a prominent feature. The mountains in the distance are the Santa Lucia range.
The high point in the distance in the next photo is Mount Carmel (elevation 4,430 feet), the highest point in the northern Santa Lucias. There's a trail that goes to the top of that peak from the other side of the ridge, you get there by driving down highway 1 and then inland about 7 miles. My husband and I hiked to the top a couple of weeks ago. It was a very beautiful hike with spectacular views along the way of the peaks to the south but we were disappointed to find that the peak itself has too many trees to allow any views in this direction.
Pinion Peak is behind Snively's Ridge and sports an abandoned fire watch tower.
From the top of Snively's it looks like you can skip to the top of the Vasquez Knob and then on down the Santa Lucia range...
If you look closely you can see the East Ridge trail that follows the center ridge up to the top of the top and connects with trail to knob.
From this angle you can see the Veeder trail, another route that takes you up toward the knob.
Here's the view of the Santa Lucias from the Vasquez Knob. In the foreground is yet more of the park, the Kahn Ranch Addition.
Looking back in the other direction you can see Snively's Ridge which almost connects with Pinion Peak. The fog in the distance is obscuring the view of Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz.
I haven't been to the top of Pinion Peak, it's outside of the park and from what I've heard the casual trail is rather choked with poison oak.
You can just make out the Snively's Ridge trail from here.
Here's some of the last wild flowers of the season.
One of the benches along the East Ridge trail affords a lovely view over the Carmel Valley towards Monterey Bay.
Not all the trails make you slog up the ridge lines. There's a trail down into the Redwood Canyon. The tallest Redwood tree in this canyon seems to have been struck by lightning at some point.
The Eastridge trail starts in the shade of Garzas Canyon.
And the Garzas Canyon trail starts out following Garzas Creek which still has a bit of water flowing in it. The creek will most likely be dry by autumn.
I feel so lucky to be living within such an easy distance of this wonderful park and I have taken full advantage of if. What I've shown you today is just a fraction of the 50 miles of trails here. I'm only about 2 miles short of having hiked every one of them - but not for long...