The Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands is a protected sanctuary for migrating birds and shorebirds within Carmel River State Beach. The brackish lagoon sits at the mouth of the Carmel River. A sand- bar interrupts the river’s flow to the sea, filling the lagoon and forming a marshy wetland area. The sandbar breaks away during rainstorms, emptying the lagoon into the ocean. The sanctuary is fringed with eucalyptus and Monterey cypress groves. This hike begins on the north bank of the Carmel River, then climbs a hillside to scenic views. The path continues to the Portola-Crespi Cross, the historic site where a cross was erected in 1 769 to sig- nal passing ships.
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