The Lupine Loop Trail is a short, relatively flat, and great introductory trail within the Garland Ranch Regional Park trail system. Lupine Loop is the first trail encountered when entering the park from the primary parking area. It passes the park's visitor center—the only bathrooms and drinking water located in the park—and also intersects with several other trails of interest in the park.
At about 1.25 miles in length, the Lupine Loop Trail begins in a wide grassy meadow in the Carmel Valley. It crosses the valley and heads up into a gentle rolling topography of shady oak trees and larger brush that stand in the shadow of the Santa Lucia mountain range's northern end.
The grassy meadow features over 350 varieties of wildflowers—entire books have been published just for identifying wildflowers within the Garland Ranch Park—particularly in the spring months. There are several small spurs from the Lupine Loop heading down to the Carmel River, which is a popular place for swimming and wading in the warmer months.
A visitor center sits along the trail about 0.2 mile from the park entrance bridge. The visitor center has displays and is staffed daily by volunteers from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There are also drinking fountains, bathrooms, and a short interpretive nature trail beginning and ending at the visitor center.
Trail maps of the park are available at the visitor center for $1, or loaners are available that you can replace following your hike.
There is no cost to enter the park. Park hours are daily from sunrise until a half hour after sunset.