Explore big sur - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
1 month ago

Fantastic trail. Went from H1 to Cone Peak Summit in a day. It was about 12 miles all uphill. Make sure to get water at the first camp because the spring on the San Antonio trail is dry and very overgrown as of October 13, 2018. Great views all the way. I camped on the Firewatch station with my one person ten, the station helped reduced the amount of wind. Don't sleep without a tent, years of people leaving their food/ trash up there has caused a rat problem at night. Other then that I cant wait to go back.

This trail was not well kept. Eroding hillsides and so much growth blocking the trail. Two of the three of us were cut up all over our legs and the third gal got hives from one of the plants we had to move just to pass through the trail. We stopped about a mile up the mountainside and turned back.

hiking
1 month ago

Scenery: 3
Views: 4
Difficulty: 3
Crowds: 2
Shade: 1

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

This hike as described is impassable for both cars and hikers. The northern most mile of the described trail is through private property. There are clearly marked fences indicating it is private property.

We tried to do this hike yesterday in the opposite direction than the one indicated here and we got lost looking for a public road that connects coast road to highway 1.

Luckily we ran in to the owners who were incredibly friendly and gracious and gave us a ride back to our car but they told us about some of the bad experiences they’ve had with hikers hopping the fences because of this all trails post. They’ve had to call the sheriff on trespassers on multiple occasions.

The road and scenery are beautiful but do not try to hike this trail as described. You can do all 9 miles of coast road or an out and back from either end but this 6 mike through hike is not doable.

off road driving
1 month ago

The location for the start of this trail is WRONG! As the other posters note, there is a locked gate. But we backtracked 3 miles towards Monterey on Highway 1 (across the large span bridge). There we found the true start to the trail, which happens to have a street sign marked “Coast Rd.” From there the trail meanders for 9 miles through redwoods, crosses streams and rises in elevation through scrub brush - with mazing views of the Pacific - and ends nearly in Big Sur. We did it with a 4-wheel drive Jeep but you could easily do it with 2-wheel drive.

Got an early start this trail is exposed to sun first couple of mi. Heart starter switchbacks . Cool in the am . Trail is well maintained. Nice views from first peaks as with most Big Sur hikes steep outta the gate but the payoff is spectacular! Made it to upper Cruikshank camp ( one table and a fire pit...:) Had lunch and headed back down.

hiking
3 months ago

Please beware that the first quarter mile of trail is literally choked with poison ivy. About 300 yards in the trail becomes a tunnel of P.O. one could probably punch through to make it beyond to P.O. to the drier slope above but I had to curtail my hike.
Note: to complete the Prewitt Loop trail starting from the southern TH, one would have to bushwhack through this tough section

This is a tough little hike with spectacular views. Most hikes will give you glimpses of the views along the way but this baby saves all her beauty until the very end and it is grand.

One of my least favorite stops in Big Sur. Not a bad thing but just not anything too memorable the best part of the beach was the stairs. There was no sand dollars to be found at low tide besides a couple of broken ones. The rocks were ok, the caves were pretty. The bathrooms are gross.. the lady collecting the money was very sweet

backpacking
4 months ago

Spectacular views, wildflowers, very well maintained trails. I backpacked for 3 days and did about 10 miles a day. I parked on Highway 1 across from Kirk Creek campground and backpacked to Vicente flats on night 1. Great, big open camping areas under the redwoods with stone rings for fires. Day two I stayed at Ojito camp. Don’t do it. It sucks. There are several places to camp along the trail that are not on the map that would have been better. As of July 4, there were a few creek crossings where you can get fresh water. Wouldn’t have made it otherwise.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail, great redwoods (not old growth). We parked at the trailhead on the right. After we hiked about 100 ft and turned around we realized we should have drove around the corner and parked on the left. The trail seemed to degrade after the 3rd stream crossing at 1.4 miles so at that point we turned around.

Much more populated than I expected. Fire road yes but with luxury houses at least two miles up

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked this trail on the Fourth of July and were surprised to only see one other hiker the entire day. The trail is in good shape, although it crosses a few active slides in places and you'll want to watch your footing. There is a lot of poison oak along the first mile of the trail, but it's easily avoided. Views from the summit are spectacular! We took an extended break at the old lookout and watched the fog starting to burn off below us, revealing views straight down to the Highway 1 bridge at Limekiln State Park.

Spectacular views. You can park in the Ventana back parking lot no problem.

This was all fire road. Given the multitude of gorgeous options in the area, your time is better spent elsewhere.

Beautiful views in the area but the gate was closed and locked very well with private property signs all over the fence. I did not even see a path for bikers or hikers.

Short leisurely walk to the cove. Nothing spectacular, in my opinion

Astounding views, steep but reasonably graded; be careful with footing as exposure towards the peak is steep. Cool chance to see rareSanta Lucia firs towards the peak, as well.

Fun afternoon in Big Sur. We parked off of 1 and walked up past Ventana to get to Coastal Ridge. The out portion was all gradual uphill, then back down. Nice visuals of a condor, turkey vulture, deer, and a red ant. Overall nice time. Road hiking, packed dirt.

Great hike with awesome views. Note– the last couple miles of driving to the trailhead has some big bumps that made for some close calls in our Audi A4 hatchback. We made it out unscathed, but there were some sketchy moments. There were other non-SUVs up there too, so you wouldn't be alone, and you definitely would come across help after a 15 minutes max should you have a problem.

This was a nice length. We stopped for lunch at the top for 20 mins or so. Roundtrip total with stops for views, food, flowers and lizards, give yourself about 2.5 hours just to be safe!

Route is “open” to hikers, we walked around the paper sign. On a fire service road the entire way. Temperature can make this hike very difficult or very easy. Maybe 1 week left of wildflowers on May 5th. Good view of mountains and ocean. Watch out for: rattlesnakes, velvet ants.

Hiked from Nacimiento-Fergusson rd, as Coast Ridge rd is still closed, making it about 16 miles round trip if you believe the signs. The views are fantastic and despite the road being closed, the road and trail were well maintained. Distance aside (12 of the 16 miles), the road to the trailhead is flat and easy. Last mile on the trail is all switchbacks with lots of exposure, which makes the shade at the fire lookout up top, coupled with some amazing panoramic views, feel euphoric. Glad to have been here to celebrate earth day.

Actually, its open. And its beautiful. Just walk around the closed gate.

FYI - This trail is not accessible at this time (April 16, 2018). There is a sign at the start of the loop saying it is closed until late 2018. This was a bit disappointing to find, as we were super excited about this hike!

Gorgeous views. I’d rate this as a moderate-difficult trail especially if backpacking on a hot day. The beginning is very steep but gets better after that. There’s a small creek still flowing about 2 miles into the hike and when you get to buckeye camp there’s a hose with running water but we still filtered it not knowing where it was from. Our campsite was overlooking the ocean so we watched the sun set and then slept under the stars. Can’t beat that!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful place. dispersed camping. a lot a trash left from rude campers. please pack it out.

This is the old coast road and it is open to bicycles and hikers . There are locked gates-you can go around them. The road itself is not private property, but the surrounding land is-so stay on the road. Information given to me by molera state beach ranger January 2018.

Went with a group of all skill levels. Found it to be a very scenic day trip, with ocean views during the majority of it.

The last 6 Miles of the drive there is on a dirt road that may be difficult for vehicles with low clearance.

One the best scenic hikes in the Los Padres.

Trail was well maintained.

hiking
10 months ago

I did this trail with my dog. it was a beautiful hike with amazing views. the trail was well-maintained and we didn't see a another person on the trail.

Beautiful hike with views of the mountains and the coast. Gradual climb along the cliffs. Very enjoyable.

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