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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hiking
13 days ago

One of the best walk/hikes Ive ever done. The end down near the water is so gorgeous.

backpacking
15 days ago

We did it in two days at a moderate pace and the worst part was just the heat at times. Unbeatable views.

Breathtaking view especially at sunset. Of course a must on every drive down Hwy 1!

Very short. $10 fee for parking if you park in the state park parking lot. And once you get to the walkway a large portion of it is closed off which was disappointing because it would be a much better view of the falls if we could go further out on the walkway/viewpoint. With that being said the portion of the walkway that was closed off did look very decrepit. But you’d think with the hundreds of dollars they make per day on parking alone that they’d fix the walkway of one of the most famous sights on Hwy 1 but I digress.
My suggestions would be to park along the highway to save the $10 (or pay and hope they fix the walkway at some point). I also think you may be able to see the falls from the Hwy just north of the parking lot. We missed it yesterday but are planning on stopping there today. It’s just a small turn out off the road but there were many people stopped there taking pictures back towards the direction of the falls.

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 at the summit 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.

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.

Did this trail as my first backpacking trip with 5 friends who also were first or 2nd timers. It was a tough trail due to almost 2,000ft incline right from the trailhead. Not being used to heavy packs made it a long arduous task. It was still fun though and amazing views of Big Sur Wilderness! After the initial mountain climb it levels out to Vicente flat redwood creek basin. The way back was nice and easy seems like the water is flowing year round in a few places nearby and along the trails. Stop and fill up if You pass water!

Trail to the falls was not accessible at this time

hiking
1 month ago

Scenery: 2
Views: 3.5
Difficulty: 3
Crowds: 3
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

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

Amazing view from the road! Unfortunately you can’t take the path all the way down right now but you can walk down a bit and get a different view! It’s easy to miss off the road but it’s across from be Julia Pfieffer State Park sign!

Loved this easy trail with fun river crossings! I used poles while crossing the rivers and it was a huge help!

One of my favorite finds driving down Highway 1- the view is absolutely stunning. Wouldn’t consider this a hike since you can park on the side of the road and find a path off the highway to get a better view. You can still see the tiny waterfall from the side of the road should you not want to enter the park or take the path down from the highway (half of the trail is currently closed).

hiking
1 month ago

Waterfalls path is closed. “Moderate” walk/hike is not worth the “view” at the top. You’ll see the best redwoods at the bottom.

Since my kids were small we come here at least once a year and anytime we are coming through the area. This is a great hike for small kids. It is easy short but offer rock hopping and enough scrambling to make it fun. Climb to the top of the falls if you can!

Honestly one of the best views of the whole coastal drive!!! So so so worth it! I would recommend it to anyone!

One of the most amazing views in my life!

More easy than moderate. Absolutely beautiful and very shady.

hiking
2 months ago

I day hiked this trail yesterday. i must say it’s one of the most challenging hikes i’ve done to date. the real challenge starts right after you get to Vicente Flat campgrounds. The views at the fire lookout is worth every single step. If you’re looking to train in distance and elevation gain for Mount Whitney, i recommend doing this hike. i did Whitney twice this year already, trust me :) Last but not least, being more than 3L of water on a hot day.

Decent trail with great view at the top. A few benches scattered near the top to sit and appreciate the view.

My son and I really enjoyed this hike. Loved the three different paths to take you into various parts of the flowing stream. We will be back again.

Great view unfortunately only half of the trail is currently open.

Great views. This time of year they are a bit harder to see due to the all day lingering of the marine layer, which is normal for this time of year. Come in the spring months and you get better views, the marine layer burns off and the water along the coast is turquoise as a result of the sun getting to it.. If you camp at Vicente Flats, there is water up or down that creek bed, just follow it either way for about 10 mins and you will find running water.
Great hike. I'll be coming back in the spring.

Only negative is there are a lot of people crapping, not burying their crap an toilet paper or packing packing the tp out.... just tossing it in the shrubbery.... that was not very scenic. Bury your crap and pack out your trash!

backpacking
3 months ago

generally: great big sur trail with ocean views, redwood grove, and then summiting cone peak for the last portion with option to hike part way or backpack;
parking: Easy parking at Kirk creek trailhead (no passes or fees)
trail conditions: relatively well maintained (by big sur standards), overgrown in some places, some poinson oak but we wore shorts and did not have a problem.
Scenery: The first few miles were shrouded in clouds and comfortably cool until we got above the cloud line a few miles in, redwood grove at vicente flat, exposed w expansive views for upper portion of hike to cone peak
water access: There was a stream flowing just past Espinoza, no waterfall Vicente Flat, but a stream less than half a mile past it.
We camped at Vicente flat, which was not crowded on a Saturday.

I had an amazing time backpacking this trail with my brother. Spent one night camping at Vicente Flats and a second night camping on Cone Peak. It’s not necessary to camp for 2 nights but it’s certainly worth it as the view of the Milky Way at night from the peak is breathtaking.

Lots of the trail is exposed to the sun and MUCH hotter than we expected from the weather report of Big Sur. This made it difficult for my dog, but not dangerous for her. Something to think about if you’re taking your furry friend.

Even in the middle of August there were water sources before Vicente and at. The creek bed in Vicente is dry but if you hike down it you will find water. Once you move beyond this point water becomes limited and there is absolutely none on the Cone Peak trail. I would suggest not hiking to the top unless you’re carrying at least a gallon per person and a little extra for your dog.

Overall this hike is incredible, Vicente Flats is breathtaking, and the views from Cone Peak are worth it. I would definitely do this hike again.

Absolutely no trail signs in the entire park. Gorgeous views that are well worth it, but be prepared to face some confusion and frustration along the way, especially if planning an overnight backpacking trip. Breathtaking views of the ocean, but definitely wouldn’t recommend for the faint of heart. Very thin, relatively unmaintained trail carved into the side of various mountains right above the ocean. Spectacular but terrifying at times.

backpacking
3 months ago

Just finished this trail as an overnight backpacking trip. Would rather recommend doing this in the spring or fall. Summer’s too hot and the trail’s mostly exposed. Bring lots of sunblock. Creeks we’re running and got to filter some water. Stayed at Vicente Flats for the night. This is definitely a butt-kicker with a pack. Could be done as a day hike but start early.

Not really a hike and personally think the view is SLIGHTLY over rated.

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