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.

Big Sur Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Trail starts off feeling all desert like and quickly changes to forest. Many small streams you'll have to cross. 2nd half of trail is currently closed to hazardous conditions, but still saw some people hiking it.

Beautiful hike! The steep section to get up to the ridge was a little difficult but so worth it! The views are amazing! Nice bench to sit on at the top and see the view!

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
18 days 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.

Beautiful hike! A little of everything, redwoods, I’ve caught some great wild flowers, gorgeous views and a great workout!!

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 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
1 month ago

Easy parking at Kirk creek trailhead. Trail was relatively well maintained (by big sur standards), overgrown in some places, some poinson oak but we wore shorts and did not have a problem. The first few miles were shrouded in clouds and comfortably cool until we got above the cloud line a few miles in. 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. The temperature was lovely under the redwoods but there were abundant (albeit not biting) bugs. We got up early the next day and day hikes to Cone Peak, getting there by 1015AM and had decent shade on the way up. Amazing views from the top, with some shade. All in all great hike! Look forward to returning in the fall.

Gorgeous

backpacking
1 month ago

*As of August 10th, 2018 there was no water at the falls or next to the second Ojitos camp

Started at the coast in Limekiln State Park and followed the Twin Peak/Cone Peak Loop. Camped at the first Ojitos Camp which was definitely an adventure to get down. Poison oak everywhere, but never really that hard to get along the path without touching it. ~10-15 trees to climb over or under. Campground could fit up to 2-3 tents optimistically but a nice place to stay the night and no one around. Water disappears and reappears as you make your way to the falls along the creek bed (perhaps the coolest part of the hike), but falls were completely dry. It wasn’t too hard to get to the base of them (path off to the left), but we decided not to continue onwards.

Flies were prevalent anytime there was light in the sky, but after the sunset they disappeared almost immediately and they didn’t really bite, just wanted to climb up your nose. Mosquitos around only near twilight and early morning. Would definitely do again to check out the waterfall in the spring.

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
1 month 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.

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.

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.

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.

Beautiful dense trees once you finally arrive at Vicente flats. There is no water or signs to let you know you have arrived at Vicente flats. We kind of lost the trail for come peak when we went looking for a place to set up camp in Vicente flats.

We headed up on a Friday at 12:17 and was hit with lots of sun. The hike up could of been planned a lot better but, the views were just beautiful and took our mind off of the uphill hike with our 35lb packs for our age and circumstances I think we did just fine. Took us about 4hrs to reach Vicente flats.

We hit Espinoza camp first and next was the creek. We were so was so happy to find the small creek along the way, it was very refreshing.

When we arrived at Vicente flats about 3 miles up from the creek there wasn’t anyone there besides 1 small group, the next day heading out so many backpackers passed us. Some looked exhausted and not prepared and still had at least 4 Miles to go. I hope they all did well. Please bring plenty of water and bug repellent for those pesky flies!!!

Lots of poison oak everywhere so wear long pants or be like me and get it on your legs, thanks goodness I didn’t have a - bad reaction besides rashes.

Go do yourself a favor and get yourself some hiking poles, they def made the difference and kept me steady on those narrow trails with my heavy pack on.

For the girl we saw hiking by herself with the satchel & basic backpack, you are my hero!! Looks like she hiked all over that moutain by herself! Way to go!!!

Oh one more thing - you can park at the bottoms of trail head we had no problem

We hiked this trail last week (7/15). We accidentally went the reverse way around - take the yellow trail first for the 1.5 miles before it turns into the red or “closed” trail. We packed very lightly from east coast and didn’t have hiking boots - for about 1.5 miles we had to slide down on our hands and butts so we didn’t slip since it was all loose sand on the way down. You can avoid this by starting yellow to red, sandy part up, ocean view on the way down. Bring shoes with tread for safety. Thought I couldn’t do it but when we got to the top it was worth it! You get ocean, desert and forest landscapes all in one.

Too crowded, very short and not an amazing view. Not very challenging (rather easy than moderate).

This is one of my favorite hikes! You get a little bit of everything, the Redwood Forest, amazing ocean view, wildflowers that surround you, a nice ocean breeze to carry you down. I would definitely recommend hiking boots for doing the whole Loop, and long sleeves and long pants to trudge through the wild flower bushes.

It’s a favorite stop in Big Sur for me; three different areas for the hike down!

Don’t forget the forest area, it’s awesome too!

backpacking
2 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.

backpacking
2 months ago

*no water at vicente*

We hiked in planning to either camp at Vicente or get water there and continue to cone peak. The hike to Vicente was gorgeous - ocean views most of the way and wildflowers all along the trail. There was a small stream right by Espinosa camp almost 4 miles in.

We reached Vicente on 6/9/18 and the stream/creek was bone dry. There was no water at any nearby streams. There were also big bee hives and lots of bees at the camp. We decided after looking for water for an hour or so to camp at Espinosa and refuel at the stream. It was beautiful there with ocean views and very quiet. There were a lot of gnats at dusk and dawn. The hike down the next morning was quick and shaded - we started out around 8am. It’s a beautiful hike.

Oh also beware of poison oak! I was spared but my boyfriend is covered. Careful about putting your pack in the brush.

It's straight up from the sea to Espinoza campsite, took us almost three hours to there, with overnight packs and being a bit out of shape. Beautiful views of the shore and mountains. From there to Vicente Flats took another 45 minutes at a brisker pace, that section being much flatter. I wore shorts and didn't get poison oaked, since it was not overhanging the trail much, and I kept my eyes open to sidestep it. Vicente Flats is a great campground, a few bugs, but tall redwoods and lovely setting. Hung our food from a tree on account of mice and chipmunks. There was water from a brook just uphill from Espinoza camp, also water at the creek at Vicente, and if you hike past Vicente on the trail to Cone Peak Road there were multiple stream crossings within a half mile of the campground (July 2018). Next day hiked up the very steep trail to the road. I sat under an oak tree on the road while my pal summited Cone (3 hours round trip from road to Cone summit), but bring water if you're doing Cone, he found none on the way up there.

hiking
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

I agree with the last review, it’s not really a hike but a walk on the beach. That said, it’s absolutely worth a stop. There are patches of purple sand and a rock with a hole in it (which is a pretty famous sunset photography spot, at the right time of year). There was a pool of water higher in the sand, popular with younger kids. We saw lots of ocean swimmers and one surfer.

Did this trail several years ago while stationed in the central valley of California. It was a very strenuous hike for us (4 adults and 4 children under the age of 7) Though we all made it out unscathed. It took us much longer than we anticipated. The Tin House itself was overly vandalized with lots of broken glass and grafitti, but cool. BUT the views from up there were AMAZING, definitely worth the steep mostly straight uphill climb to get there. We could see HWY 1 and miles of coastline, even saw some sea critters playing in the water below. The view was so mesmerizing we hung out there much too long, saw the better part of the sunset from in the clouds!!

Because nightfall was fastly approaching we decided to take the logging road back but still found ourselves hiking down part of the mountain in the dark. We emerged on HWY 1 without any signage or sense of direction due to the dark. HWY 1 can be VERY busy, so be careful. We made our way back to our car and eventually back home. It was an amazing experience albeit a rough one!
I see that the trail is currently closed, I am assuming due to trail maintenance, the trail was in rough shape when we trekked it, with rebar stobs, broken steps and places where the trail bed had just fallen away. Should it open back up, I would highly recommend this trail to experienced hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

I went through the whole loop - throughthe “closed area” and back down. Watch out for the poison oak on the south part of the trail. Definitely wear real hiking boots/shoes for this trail. The path is a bit eroded in parts and you’ll need the extra footing.

backpacking
2 months ago

Loved this trail. Amazing views and challenging terrain. If you choose to go up the right side of the loop, beware of the rigorously steep terrain and also there is absolutely no water until you descend half way down cone peak down the other side of the loop. I packed in 2 gallons and still ran out 2 hours prior to reaching cone peak. Along the left side of the loop there is a water spring about every hour or so and it is a much easier path to take. I started my hike at midnight on Sunday and camped 2,100 ft up the trail just above the fog. Started at it again at 0900 that morning and made it back to the bottom by 21:00 Monday night. Planned on staying another night but getting dehydrated on the right side of the loop really took away all my desire to camp. Hope this post helps future backpackers!

Load More