Cone Peak Summit Trail is a 3.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Fantastic trail! Enjoy the drive up to the trail head. Park off the road and take the switchbacks up to the top at the look out tower. Absolutely stunning view of Big Sur and beyond. Bring your cameras!
I'm going to start by saying that this mixed review has some very good parts to it, so please read on!
My friend and I started onto the Vicente Flat trail from Kirk Creek for a 3-day adventure into the Ventana Wilderness. The first 45 minutes of the trail were full of amazing views and moderate-to-strenuous switchbacks that may make any first-time backpacker a little weary right out the gate. It was the beginning of May for us and we hit the trailhead at around 5pm and made it to the first campsite about 2.5 mi in before sundown. We made camp at Espinoza, just deep enough in to rub elbows with the redwoods but still getting some peek-a-boo views of the ocean. There was a spring about 200 feet from the camp which made things a lot easier. Not a lot of deadwood around and what was around was pretty wet.
Next day we hiked into Vicente Flat camp, which was another 2 mi in and greener. We made camp right in the grove there and had a creek to draw all the water we needed from. Shaded and quiet, there was one other overnight group in the site, which we hadn't expected being there on a weekend.
That afternoon we set out for Cone Peak. All I can say is that while the view at the end was pretty spectacular, the journey up was aesthetically deficient. A brutal climb up and no water on the way so if you do make the trip, be sure to bring a couple canteens with you. Also the higher you get up, the drier it gets so there are ticks everywhere. Bring lots of repellent and/or cover up.
All in all an amazing time, but if I could do it all over again, I would have probably skipped Cone Peak and taken another shaded option.
A friend and I just hiked the San Vicente trail back in September and it was gorgeous. It starts at Highway 1 and you gain elevation pretty quick but the views from above the fog looking into infinity are definitely worth it. We didn't quit make it to Cone Peak but the Vicente Flat campground is a nice little redwood grove about 5 miles in. Good day hike, or you can camp along the trail if you want to take it easy. Great experience overall!
It seems the trail we took isn't on the app tho :/ ...the trailhead is next to the campground that's nearby on Highway 1.