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
11 hours ago

A very good workout with spectacular views at the top. 2 hours up and 1.5 hours down. 2 litres of water each. A gradual gradient all the way up with views all the way, as you wind around the hills. The upper third is narrow and rough in places but as for any heights concerns, ok ! Lunch at the top was very nice. Good phone reception too ! Highly recommend.

hiking
14 days ago

I love this trail I've dont it twice now, I can say that once you get to a the false you'll see the peak to the right, the trail is hidden by brush and the way up to the peak step and footing is tricky. I was able to finish within 6 hours. bring at least 2L of water, technu, and some snacks,l. but boy are you in for a beautiful view.

Nice walk. A flat smooth trail with lots of shade. Opened up to a beautiful beach which was not overcrowded at all. Nice little hike to end our day with the dogs.

Very easy, smooth, wide, and shaded trail. The poison oak was very red this week. The season must be coming to an end. Oak trees are awesome, and some very large, The beach was covered with drift wood. When the waves were going back into the sea, they were able to move some of the rocks at the waters edge. You could hear the rocks bumping into each other, I have never heard this before and it was really interesting. The parking lock charges ten dollars, to park but I saw a number of cars parked on the side of the road, Wild flowers were still in bloom. Very nine hike.

Did this hike with two and four year old children. Beautiful beach and gorgeous coastline await you after hiking through a shaded trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Tough!

Foolishly I left a little too late and the sun was beating on me. For most of the trail, it was in direct sunlight with a few clusters of trees desperately needed for shade.

There were one or two places where the trail completely gave out, need to manage a balance beam step or two during this.

Also there was one section early on that had a fork, maybe 10-15 minutes in. I went right since that was the direction with a steeper incline.

Top 3/4 near the summit is overgrown, lots of pokes and scratches.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail is very badly maintained and completely overgrown for the second half.

hiking
3 months ago

My friend and I did this hike in mid-August and were not prepared. Normally rangers/guides overestimate heat and difficulty, but that was not the case here. Started at 12:30pm with about 1.5L of water between the two of us, and we basically were fried by the time we reached the false summit. The overgrown nature of the trail and the heat made the hike so brutal (my friend was showing signs of heat exhaustion) it was hard to enjoy the views. I'm sure in another season and with proper preparation, this would have been a really cool hike, but as a 23-year-old experienced hiker (for my age) and former college endurance athlete, I had a tough time. Bring enough water, start in the morning, and really take a close look at how sure-footed you are before attempting this hike.

Difficult trail. The trail gets really sketchy around the 2.5 mile marker but the views are beautiful. Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water - you'll be in the direct Eastern sun the majority of the time. Really be prepared for a hard climb and feel good in your footing. The trail gets very narrow and overgrown, and in some places there almost isn't a trail at all. Overall it's a great physical challenge, just make sure you're prepared!

Easy walk to the beach and spectacular beach yet super super windy

Easy trail with plenty of shade. Stay on the trail, otherwise you will run into a lot of poison oak.

Lovely trail, too bad it burned. Hope to go back soon to see how the forest is recovering. We camped at Barlow Flats and it was perfect...

hiking
4 months ago

great early morning hike on 7/4/18! happy birthday America! hike has awesome views when the fog moved around. nice single trail track well maintained for first 2 or so miles then sketchy in spots so watch ur footing. poles recommended and good shoes. fogged out in top but still saw great landscape...red hawks abound as does the poison oak- wear long pants and sleeves..have fun!

This was one of my favorite hikes while living in California. With that said, the crowds had clearly taken a toll, so I'm actually hoping the closure means it will be relatively inaccessible for a considerable time. This place needs time to heal.

The Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes is closed indefinitely. Locally we hear 2-5 years. While this is a bummer for everyone, please understand that Sykes and the backcountry of Big Sur deserves a much needed break. For years, Sykes got crushed. Damming, Trash, Fire, and Destruction were the norm. Im not an Environmentalist, Conservation No one should be in the Backcountry Purists. I am a local Big Sur resident who advocates for the backcountry, because she has no voice. The Volunteer Wilderness Rangers are out on patrol, and if necessary can call USFS to escalate. There are many other trails listed here on this site. You can get into the backcountry, but for a while, it cannot be through the Pine Ridge Trail. lovebigsur.com

Has anyone gone on this trail while closed??

Did this years ago, before GPS.
I remember how sore I was and how quiet. I'm sure it's much more used now.

There is a sign (photo uploaded) where the trail splits from Valley View. They are reconstructing the entire trail. Expected complete early 2019.

Lots of poison oak. Would probably only do this again if I decided to surf the river mouth. Very trafficked.

It was somewhat sketch and I was hoping for something physically challenging but not rich in risky footing challenges, lots of poison oak, etc. Sweaty Betty has a great review to this effect.

It was definitely super beautiful though. The first 2/3 up was great but the last 1/3 or so was just a little too much for my taste. I would've taken more aggressively uphill but the narrow path is not something I like much.

Second time hiking this trail! Beautiful Spring day, with temperatures in the high 70’s low 80’s... On this attempt we were able to get to the top. The previous try was thwarted by heavy overgrowth that I wasn’t prepared for. I enjoy this hike, and except for a brief polite encounter with a Rattlesnake on the way down, it provides some stunning views in all directions!

My friends and I hiked this for a multi-day camping trip in April '16. This was the first time I had ever been on an overnight hike. It was grueling at times and I would NOT recommend it for a first timer who is out of shape. The only reason I did fine on this hike was that I upped my fitness level a little in the weeks prior to the hike (simply by going for daily long walks). The one member of our party who hadn't hiked in a long time and who was totally out of shape had a really, really tough time. There is a lot of up and down, at times pretty steep, and you hit the ups pretty early in the hike. It being my first hike, I couldn't conceive of how hard that would be with a 50+ pound pack!

Having said that, it was a spectacular hike. It was raining most of the time, which we expected, but it was mainly a constant drizzle/mist which made the experience and the views really, really nice. The rain caused a couple of minor hazards, but nothing serious (just have to watch you footing more carefully). Had it been dry and warm, it would have been exponentially harder. Whenever they open this up again, if this is your first overnight hike, I would recommend going in late April (that's when we went) or early May for cooler temps and the chance for some rain (yes, personally, I prefer a little precip on this kind of hike). Also, if your level of fitness is low or non-existent, I'd at least do some daily light cardio for 2-3 weeks prior to your trip.

Again, this is a spectacular hike and I found it to be very rewarding to complete, on a personal level. Most of our party were experienced hikers, most of whom had done this hike before. The hot springs can be a nice reward, even though most of my party was more excited about that than I was, but I think it's worth a soak after such a long hike. The trail was rather busy, which surprised me for such a long hike, but I actually liked seeing and talking to so many folks on such a lengthy and difficult hike. Somehow, I found that that camaraderie made the hike easier (and that's coming from someone who is typically anti-social).

This is a long and at times grueling hike. But it is also beautiful and rewarding and is well worth the effort. I'd definitely do it again and hope to someday.

5/2/18: The beach trail was closed due to a fire, you can still go to the beach by going through creamery.
First stop, you get to cross a small river (you will get your feet wet during that time of the year). After the first “obstacle”, it’s a really casual walk. Flowers and birds on the way with the beach at the very end of course!
Parking is $10.

Heat, Height, and Vertigo warning ⚠️
Prudently and honestly assess your abilities before committing to this Trail. It is strenuous, exposed, frequently tick infested, peppered with poison oak, has no water access, is overgrown, sketchy in parts and little better than a goat trail along a precipice past the 1/2 way “Point of No Return.” You must be sure footed and mindful of your feet. If hiking in summer, give yourself an early am start or the brutal heat will be relentless.

If that does not deter you, then you are in for a fabulous treat of wildflowers in spring and stunning mountain ⛰ views of the Coastal Range year round. Experience views of the scenic Big Sur River from virtually an aerial perspective, and contemplate the fire adaptive abilities of CA Native plants as they regenerate underneath burned standing tree sculptures. The false Peak offers 360 views of the Ventana Range and Pt Sur Lighthouse. The actual peak offer views of telecommunications equipment. Skip it.

lovely flat trail on a gorgeous bluebird day. Fording the creek was a fun adventure, lots of kiddo's doing it. Creamery trail was closed but driftwood beach at the end a fun goal, will be putting in 50hikeswithkids.com!

Is this hike back open yet ! =))

hiking
7 months ago

this trail definitely is hard... and deceivingly so. starts out not so bad, then gets more intricate. very thin trail, constantly uphill, goes through various environments. the views at the peak are incredible, huge mountain ranges covered in beautiful clouds. intense, but if you do it, it's worth it!!!

Amazing nature walk. Cross a river, walk through a meadow, carve some gnarly paths and end up on a wide open beach! It's cold but worth it.

I did this hike with a group of friends of varying backpacking experience back in 2011 when we were all juniors in high school. This may have been at the peak of its popularity before the fires, and as luck would have it, the springs were VERY crowded, and they are all very small and intimate. It was a really great bonding experience, and for the less outdoorsy friends, it really opened their eyes to the magic of getting somewhere worthwhile on your own two feet. Unexpectedly gnarly up and down the entire way; my ankles were done by the time we got to camp! You can hike out in two days if you need by sleeping at a camp that is about halfway. Definitely a formative experience for me as an outdoors lover. However, I’ll admit looking back that this is one of the less impressive and beautiful hikes in the area of Big Sur. While this trail is being fixed up, I encourage you to explore more of the Ventana and Silver Peak Wildernesses! Who knows, maybe more natural hot water is hiding out there... Remember to practice LEAVE NO TRACE principles! Hike prepared!

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