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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beautiful hike, hate that it is closed now!

hiking
11 days ago

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

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.

Scenery: 3.5
Views: 4.5
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 3
Shade: 2

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: 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

Wish fixing this trail was a priority. It is really a gem and I want to take my kids back.

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).

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.

trail running
2 months ago

Magical spot and heck of a climb. Yearning to go back and go farther.

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.

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.

expectacular hike. great sources of water for backpacking. beautiful views. trail is very clean with poison oak. a little narrow close to strella campsite but not too bad.

great trail

Agree with Chris S. Did this when it was closed today. Had to literally crawl through branches at some points but was doable (I'm 6ft and was wearing a backpack). Very much worth the scratches.

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

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Paradise by the seashore. One of the most picturesque beach hikes I’ve ever done. Partington Canyon and cove was named for the Pioneer family who settled in the area in 1874. A moderate hike down to the cove through a short mountain tunnel and you find yourself in a late 19th Century “dog cove” where supplies were shipped and off loaded from the sea. There’s a comfy bench to take in the stunning views. You can still see the remnants of the wood and steel apparatus used to off-load supplies. If you take the other path (to the right) you will arrive at a beautiful rocky shore. We sat and watched sea otters frolicking in the water before us. Could have spent a whole day in this area. It’s not a long hike but the view is invigorating and inspiring. Not to be missed.

The beach is a beautiful crescent, very scenic, and seeing the very small waterfall splashing directly onto the beach is an unusual sight. But on the downside, you can’t actually get down to the beach to see it up close, and it’s incredibly crowded (we went in late July). The view of the beach from the road is actually better than from the trail, because half of the trail was closed off due to instability of cliff face. There is a huge logjam of people at the place where the trail is closed. The walk from trailhead to turnaround is less than 10 min. Don’t even bother with the day use parking, it’s always full. There is ample parking on road, but make sure you don’t cross the white line at side of lane. Two rangers were out giving tickets to any car that was parked over the line. Access the trailhead from the entrance to day use parking. You cross under the road through a short tunnel. Note that there is no cell service in Big Sur so download local maps in advance.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a very scenic short trail system suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit. The trail requires scrambling over and under logs in a few places and crosses a steam multiple times with makeshift log and stone crossing points. We went at end of July and water was low enough that you could cross without getting feet wet. The trail is through second growth redwood forest and is shaded and very cool the entire time. Great for a break on a hot day. The waterfall is worth seeing, though not spectacular. The abandoned lime kiln is cool. Our three children 12, 14, and 22 enjoyed it and our eldest did a ton of off trail scrambling on the rocks and fallen logs. Trailhead is at the far end of camping area, walk past everyone, there are a small number of day use parking spaces for $10 fee. If it’s full there is parking on side of road above. At the opposite end of camping area there is a small sand beach and rocky area where the creek empties into the ocean. Cross a wooden bridge and walk under the bridge. That is also super cool and worth a visit. The water is freezing but nice to splash around. Bring trunks and water shoes.

Great hike. The redwoods are breathtaking! It’s very shaded, perfect in the summer heat. Go to the 100 foot waterfall, you have to cross the creek a few times but that’s the fun part. Then go check out the Kilns, they’re really interesting and make for beautiful photos.
Be careful, there is poison oak everywhere.
Also, There’s NO (zero) cell service anywhere in Big Sur.

Loved this hike!! Once you hike down the switchback You can go right and sit on the rocks by the beach and listen to the waves crash. You can go left and walking along the creek to a small waterfall. Or you can go straight and though the wooden tunnel (which is super rad!) and check out the beautiful cove. It’s beautiful and worth the trip. Be careful, poison oak is everywhere so I would recommend long pants.
Going back up, the hill is steep but not too long, that’s the only “challenging” park of the hike.

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