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Carmel River State Beach

Dogs are allowed on leash at Carmel River State Beach in Carmel, CA. This mile-long, dog-friendly beach features a bird sanctuary in a lagoon. Monastery Beach, also known as San Jose Creek Beach, is part of the park and is popular with scuba divers. Swimmers need to be careful in the water because it can become choppy and dangerous. For opening times and unexpected closures, please call the Carmel River State Beach or check their website. Visit Website

Or call (831) 649-2836 for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Carmel River State Beach has received a rating of 3.8 out of 5 bones by 4 canine critics on BringFido and 4.5 out of 5 by 2,466 guests on TripAdvisor.

  • Dians
    Jun 19, 2021
    Beautiful but people are becoming more and more hostile to dog owners

    I’m a local. This is my favorite place to go. It WAS my favorite place to take my dog. I love the lagoon too. But people are becoming more and more hostile to dog owners here. There’s no ecological reason for a leash law at the beach. Absolutely none. And I can understand they want to protect birds but there are so many people in inner tubes and boating in the lagoon-they are the people who make more of a mess than a few dogs at the waterline fetching a stick ever could. Mine can’t fetch but what the heck?! I’m talking about other dogs but the fact is they’re going to send Ricky the Ranger on you to give you a ticket even if you’re not bugging anyone and it’s after sunset. Absurd. The crowds of families on the weekend are far dirtier. There are a bunch of aging uptight folks who want to enjoy “their” beach but not let others do that. Hey, I’m an aging “local”-maybe not local enough for them (not Carmel) but what the heck? They’re a bunch of Karens.

  • Jacqueline
    May 3, 2019
    Dogs Yes, but on a leash please!

    I am posting this as I see other dog owners indicate they allow their dogs off-leash on this beach, playing fetch, etc.

    I am a resident of Monterey Bay and visit this beach weekly. Carmel River State Beach is a beautiful, white sand beach with a protected lagoon and bird sanctuary. Unfortunately, there seems to be a misunderstanding that dogs are allowed off-leash on this beach. Dogs must be leashed due to the sensitivity of the habitat. Nesting birds use the sandy areas around the lagoon and potentially on the beach during the spring and summer months including the "threatened status" western snowy plover. These birds sit in small indentations in the sand often unseen until disturbed. We can all learn to protect and live with the native wildlife if we would only pay attention and adhere to the signs posted at the entrances.

    Please respect the state law pertaining to dogs on this beach. Off-leash dogs however are allowed on the main Carmel Beach just below the town. Lots of room to run around and meet other dog owners and their dogs!

    Thank you for helping to keep our coastline beautiful and safe for all living things.

  • Audrey
    More than a year ago
    Favorite beach!

    I take my dogs to Carmel River State Beach once or twice a week. It's a beautiful beach! With the ocean to your west and the Carmel River lagoon to your East it's a great spot to experience two different habitats. The Carmel River Lagoon is fantastic for bird watchers and Kayaking. The majority of people stay towards to parking area of the beaches but I prefer to walk the 1/4 mile down around where the beach curves towards the bay at Monastery Beach. There are usually less people and I can plat fetch without being disturbed with training. The beach curves down and around towards Monastery and Ribera Beaches and you can walk to whole way if you decide for a long trek. It's much more rocky but it's not difficult and no problem for dogs as long as they aren't too elderly or leg issues. There are public restrooms and water fountains by the parking area also! Absolute favorite spot so far! Highly recommend!

  • Sara
    More than a year ago
    Dog vacations

    Our dogs love this beach. White soft sand and not crowded. We can walk the dogs as much as we lille. Then sit and have a picnic with them. They love to watch the sea gulls shouting at each other. There is so many of them sometime thy look as if they are having a annual meeting. When they take off one of the dogs loves to bark at them. Will be going again this year. Must be the 5-6th year we've been coming. So pleased you still allow dogs on the beach. Just wish every one who uses the beaches would clean up after there dogs. They will be the ones who spoil it for other people.

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Carmel River State Beach