Carmel River State Beach

In lesson 1 of our science program (Apologia’s Zoology 2: Exploring Creation with Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day) we learned what estuaries are and the brackish water that fills them. Basically, estuaries are where rivers meet oceans or seas. The water is brackish – a mix of fresh and salt water.

We read about Carmel River State Beach recently and I was excited to learn that it’s got an estuary where birds love to hang out. People do too. Not too many people though–apparently not many people use this beach. When people visit Carmel they go to the Carmel city beach. Who wants the crowds when you can have a beach practically all to yourself?

Carmel River State Beach sign

Go here to have the beach to yourself!

We did a very quick and brief review about estuaries and headed down after lunch. We didn’t have any troubles finding parking. We wore hiking clothes instead of swimsuits, and this was on purpose. This beach isn’t safe for swimmers due to the rough current. I have Keens that were great for trekking around Hawaii, getting in and out of watery and soft-sandy places. Here though, the sand is more like miniature rocks. The little rocks got in my Keens and wouldn’t escape. Ouch! Flip flops probably would have been better.

The first thing you come across is the marshy estuary, which right now is not reaching the ocean. Perhaps it’s the drought. Perhaps it has something to do with the dam removal that is ongoing. The birds love it though!

the birds love the estuary at Carmel River State Beach

River ahead of me and ocean behind me – beach is in-between. See the birds!?

Birds fly around Carmel River State Beach

CRSB is a bird sanctuary

Birds fly around at Carmel River State Beach

the birds took flight to avoid us, but didn’t go very far!

birds fly over us at Carmel River State Beach

they flew over us to head back to the marsh. Fortunately no air mail was dropped. . .

dried kelp on the beach

dried kelp

Something blue on the beach

no idea what this is, but I love the little collection of things

As we walked along the beach it became rockier and rockier. We walked and explored for about an hour–then my feet just couldn’t take it any longer. We rested by some big rocks and then took the walking path on top of the cliff back to the car.

waves spray up against the rocks at Carmel River State Beach

splash and spray

Water flows over low-lying rocks at Carmel River State Beach

Tide was starting to come back in

waves crash against the rocks at Carmel River State Beach

I was kind of obsessed with the spray

water washes up between two rocks at Carmel River State Beach


ice plant grows on the hills facing the ocean

ice plant grows everywhere around here

I’m an East Coast girl, but I’m starting to love the Pacific Ocean! What is your favorite body of water? (The Gulf Coast in Florida has the best sand, imho)

    Not So SAHM

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