Best time to see Cala Lili Valley and Garrapata Beach in California in 2024

Best time to see Cala Lili Valley and Garrapata Beach in California in 2024

Cala Lili Valley and Garrapata Beach

A beach oasis of juicy, wild calla lilies and stunning wildflowers is located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, in Garrapata State Park, Big Sur. The area is gorgeous during the calla lilies' blooming season, which runs in late winter and early spring. Discover the beauty of the local nature by walking along the Calla Lily Valley Trail and end the trip with a picnic on the picturesque Garrapata Beach.

When do calla lilies bloom?

Calla lily of the valley season may begin as early as the end of January. Flowering begins by mid-February and continues until mid-April and sometimes throughout the month. Note that some areas can be dangerous to navigate due to poison oak that invades the valley after spring rains. Therefore, it is recommended to wear long pants and closed shoes to avoid contact with plants. Also, if you can't make it during calla lily season, visit at any other time, as the valley is stunning all year round.

How to reach Cala Lili Valley?

Beautiful Calla Lily Valley is located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, about 20 minutes from Monterey on Highway 1. Park at Gate 18 or 19 at Garrapata State Park and look for the Garrapata Trail at mile marker 63. By walking for 5 minutes. Until you reach a set of stairs that descend to Doud Creek which embraces the Calla Lily Valley, the center of the picturesque bloom. The entire trip takes about half a mile (about 800 meters) round trip.

Garbata Beach

Take time to admire the flowers and consider hiking down to Garrapata State Beach, a perfect place to relax after a walk and picnic with your loved ones. However, wading through the area can be a bit dangerous due to the slippery rocks. Likewise, swimming may be tempting, but it is not safe either, due to the strong waves and tides.

What to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

During your visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea, don't limit your agenda to just the Garrapata Trail. Find out what other precious experiences you can have here. Provided you plan your trip by mid-March, there is a chance to catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing monarch butterfly migration. For adventure lovers, the area has a number of surfing spots, and the peak season lasts until March as well. Finally, there's a lot to see along Big Sur's rugged coastline, and the best way to do it is by taking a road trip.

Where to stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

If you study the map below, you will see a range of accommodation options near Calla Lily Valley. Many hotels are scattered along Highway 1. If you go north of the Garpata Trail, stop somewhere in Carmel Heights or look for better deals outside of it. If you move south, you'll find great alternatives around Notley's Landing. Anyway, take your time to find what works best for you.

Practical information

When do calla lilies bloom?

From late January to mid-April, the calla lily of the valley is in bloom, although the season varies. The valley continues to be breathtaking all year round. Due to the presence of poison oak, people are recommended to wear long pants and closed shoes while moving through the canyon. Show more

How to reach Cala Lili Valley?

To get to Calla Lily Valley, park near Carmel-by-the-Sea near Monterey on Highway 1 at Gate 18 or 19 in Garrapata State Park. Follow the Garrapata Trail (at mile marker 63) for about five minutes. Descend the set of stairs that run down Doud Creek, which hugs Calla Lily Valley. The entire trek is 800 meters (half a mile) round trip. Show more

What to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

Visit the Monarch Butterfly to witness the magnificent migration that begins in March and ends in February. If you're looking for excitement, there are many surf spots in the area, and the season extends until March. What's more, Big Sur's rugged coastline has a lot to offer and is best explored via road trip. Show more

What are some safety tips for hiking in the Cala Lili Valley?

To avoid encountering poison oak, it is recommended to wear closed-toed shoes and long pants when you go hiking in Cala Lili Valley. Be careful when traveling over rough terrain and slippery rocks, especially if you are heading to Garbata State Beach. It is also important to wear sunscreen, carry sunglasses, and get enough water to prevent dehydration. Show more

What other types of wildflowers can be found in Cala Lili Valley?

Calla lilies may be the centerpiece of Calla Lily Valley's beauty, but you may also see other beautiful wildflowers such as California poppies, lupines and wild onions. Enjoy the area's feisty charm. Show more

Is Garpata Beach dog friendly?

Unfortunately, dogs are not welcome at Garbata State Beach due to conservation concerns. However, there are dog-friendly places nearby, including Carmel Beach and Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Show more

Are there any guided tours available in Cala Lili Valley?

Although there is no official guided tour of Calla Lily Valley, several private tour companies offer Big Sur hiking tours that often include Calla Lily Valley as one of the destinations. If you prefer, with the help of trail diagrams and educational signs along the way, you can explore the area on your own. Show more

What is the weather like in Cala Lili Valley during the blooming season?

Since the weather in Calla Lily Valley and its environs is unpredictable, visitors should prepare for sudden changes in climate, unpredictable winds, and rain during the flowering season, which typically lasts from late January to mid-April. Although daytime temperatures typically range from the mid-50s to mid-60s, dressing in layers will help you stay comfortable throughout the day. Show more

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