Monterey’s Veterans’ Memorial Park
March 16, 2021
After a couple of nights at the Comfort Inn at the Monterey Regional Airport (serviced from LAX, SFO, SAN, and DFW) I have moved outdoors again - to a great little park in the city of Monterey. Forty campsites. $40 per night, maximum stay of three nights. A ranger told me I can climb a hill and get a view of Pebble Beach. I will check that out. (A quick Google search provided me this teaser:
One-hundred and eighty-three. That’s how many wooden steps make up the perhaps ironically named Stairway to Heaven, the steep uphill and staired chunk of the Veteran’s Memorial Park Huckleberry Hill Loop in Monterey. Whether you’re walking it, running it, doing an interval workout on it, it’s the kind of place you go to if you really want to feel some pain… in a good way… we think. If you’re just out for a nature walk, it seems harmless. The keyword here being “seems.” But by the end of 183 steps, you would have gained at least 300 feet in elevation in a short amount of time, and by that point you’d think it would end in a nice plateau. But nope. The little bunny hill at the top will make you scream for your mother and a stretcher if you’re not quick to stretch it out at the top. If you’ve been there, done that and you’re running up the dang thing, turn it into a full hill workout starting at the base of Quarry Park, keeping right at the fork of the trail (that’s the one with the big hill), and keep running until you hit Veteran’s Park. You’ll have a brief respite from the rolling hills of the trail before you hit the stairway and well, we hope you don’t turn away from the challenge, but we don’t blame you if you do. Super-advanced ironman types can choose to continue over the bunny hilltop and do some loops – if you really want that Jell-O leg feeling tomorrow morning.)
Here is a description of the park:
Veterans Memorial Park
Quiet Veterans Memorial Park, one mile uphill from Old Monterey and the Fisherman's Wharf area, is a popular camping destination for many who visit Monterey. It is adjacent to the 81-acre Huckleberry Hill Nature Preserve, one of Monterey's hidden hiking treasures and a great family hiking destination. Both are abutted by the Presidio of Monterey.
Veterans Memorial Park has 40 total campsites. 30 campsites are suitable for trailers. Every site is equipped with a table and a firepit. Veterans Memorial Park also has showers and restrooms. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. See the City of Monterey's website for detailed camping regulations and a list of current campground fees.
Veterans Memorial Park is a popular area for picnics and overnight youth groups of up to 100. Both the three day-use picnic areas and the overnight youth group areas may be reserved in advance. See the city of Monterey's website for a list of picnic and youth group fees. Call 831-646-3865 to reserve.
Veterans Memorial Park is adjacent to Huckleberry Hill Nature Preserve and is the best way to access that preserve's hiking trails. To get to the Huckleberry Hill Nature Preserve, take the Veterans Park Trail that abuts the western edge of the campground to the Presidio View Trail.
Wildlife is frequently spotted in Huckleberry Hill Nature Preserve, as the aptly named Wild Boar Trail and Opossum Road show. The Wild Boar Trail provides excellent views of Pacific Grove and the coastline, while the Presidio View Trail rises roughly 700 feet and gives sweeping views of the city of Monterey. See the City of Monterey website for an information on trails and camping.
A trail from the south end of Veterans Memorial Park leads south to the small but charming Quarry Park. Refer to this interactive Google trail map for details.
Veterans Memorial Park offers a basketball court, play equipment and a lawn area suitable for Frisbee, softball and other sports activities.
After the sun of Southern California I am having trouble adjusting to the cloudy days. Fortunately this afternoon the sun has returned, and I’m looking forward to a recharge. I note this for the record only - not looking for sympathy. Clouds + lonely = BB King for me.
I saw these signs over in Seaside this morning. Chuckled at the dichotomy between the two warnings.