Explore Big Sur Area - 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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Soberanes is a gorgeous hike and an easy trail through the canyon, however... Do not attempt to do the entire “loop” to Rocky Ridge from the end of Soberanes Canyon Trail unless you’re used to climbing - extreme - terrain and vertical inclines. Once you start up, it’s too dangerous to go back down and it’s not a switchback trail, but a straight shot vertical incline on sandy, rocky ground (easy to slip) that’s the equivalent of 158 “floors” on the iPhone app. Not for the faint of heart, or people looking to go for an easy scenic hike on their vacation. Hiking boots with tread are required and walking sticks also help. There is a reason the trail is closed and that’s because it’s dangerous. That said, the “safest” option for those who want to see the view from the top is to take the Rocky Ridge trail (instead of the Canyon trail) to the top, enjoy the view, then turn around and descend the same way. Do NOT attempt to continue on and descent into the Canyon via Rocky Ridge trail - the ground is not suitable for descending and there’s no cell reception back there (and no patrol), so if anything happens to you, you’re in the wind. Nonetheless, if you are an extreme climber and want to do the entire loop, start with Soberanes Canyon Trail and when you see the “end/closure” sign, the trail is to the left (yes, it’s unmarked, you have to scale the side of the hill and climb up rocks a bit - again, I don’t recommend that route unless you’re an extreme climber/hiker).

hiking
19 hours ago

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

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.

One of the most amazing views in my life!

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!

hiking
16 days ago

Followed recommendations to do the uphill Ridge trail first then connecting to the Panorama trail and finally Bluff trail., clockwise. Good advise because then the best ocean views are in front of u for second half of the hike and it’s cooler. However wish I’d know that the first 3 to 4 miles or so are uphill and extremely strenuous with no ocean views. A good hike if you’re a fit person!

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

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

hiking
24 days ago

Nice hike! Good views!
Took me 3.5 hours to complete with photo and snack breaks. It can get quite windy sometimes.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful trail! Took me about 4 hours to do the full loop with a beach break. Recommend to bring water/snacks and long pants.

hiking
28 days ago

Moderate, no shade. Very nice at the beach area with purple sand (spring trail)

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

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! The beach trail was closed but the hike is tough and rewarding. The first portion of the hike is incline but the second half is mostly decline.Great views overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. It is best to go in the morning to catch the cool breeze. There was fog in the morning but cleared up towards the end of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty strenuous for a hot day in August. As others have said lots of poison oak, but great views of the ocean and plenty of condors. The redwoods, and oaks at the top were awesome. We didn’t have much fog, so the panoramic views of the coastline were great.

Gorgeous

hiking
1 month ago

SO BEAUTIFUL & SO LONG. Make sure you leave pretty early so you can spend more time on the beautiful beach - if you plan on doing the whole loop

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty hike but little challenge. Same but nice view of the Pacific Ocean the entire way. Take care for poison oak and you may need to bush wack a touch. We did see the trail maintenance crew out to start cleaning it up which was relieving for future hikers.

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

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Amazing views. The beach is a plus, secluded not too crowded and with pink sand!!! Not an easy one but keep with it.... yes poison ivy, be careful. Do it clockwise, easier.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Stunning views. Loved every minute of it. Would do ridge side first as it gets hot and the bluff side is much cooler with the breeze. Would wear pants as it’s a bit overgrown at parts.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

We did the clockwise direction on a Saturday in July, and the trail was great! The initial climb was strenuous, but it wasn't too bad after that. We enjoyed being rewarded with the Spring Trail to the beach at about the halfway point. As others have noted, there is quite a bit of Poison Oak, so keep an eye out for that. We thought it might be more crowded, but we did not encounter that many other hikers, even on the beach. If you time it right and hit low tide, you may be able to hike bike along the beach all the way back. We were not able to do the beac hike.

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.

Falls are closed

Great hike! A little strenuous and very sunny, so be prepared.
The beach is beautiful and private. We almost missed it. There is a marker for Panorama Trail at the turn off. If you can see the bleached wood and the makeshift bridge then you are in the right place.

hiking
2 months ago

Best Hike in Big Sur

Summary
Summary: Creamery Trail > Beach Trail > CLOCKWISE: Ridge Trail > Panorama Trail > Spring Trail > Bluffs Trail > Beach Trail > Creamery Trail

Details
You can just put in directions to Andrew Molera State Park and google maps will bring you to the park entrance ($10 to park in the lot or it's free right along the road 0.1 miles away from the lot).

From the side of the road, you walk down to the sate park parking lot. Instead of entering the lot, go through the white gate/arch to just keep following the road. This road is called the creamery trail. Take your first right to follow the Beach Trail and cross the river (there's a beam, so no need to walk through the water) to stay on the beach trail.

Keep walking and you'll see a trail on the left that says "ridge trail loop". Take that trail (otherwise you can go straight for ~0.05 miles to the main beach but this beach isn't that cool). After starting up the ridge trail, you'll quickly see a fork in the road for ridge or bluff trail. This is the 8 mile loop, definitely take the clockwise route aka the ridge trail/uphill option.

Follow that until you're at the very top and take the only trail down aka the Panorama Trail. Brace yourself for stunning views. Now time for the pink sand beach. As you get close to the water, you'll see a trail on the left going towards the water but it's overgrown and won't be able to take it. Instead, take the next left option, you'll see a ton of driftwood and then you're there!

When you're done enjoying the beach, take the bluff trail (which seems to become spring trail for a small portion). This will loop you back to where you started the uphill climb up ridge trail. From there, just go back to the beach trail and head back to the parking lot.

Sounds a little complicated, but it's really not. Just go up as high as you can and then follow the coast for as long as you can until you find your starting point. Lots of poison oak and parts of the Panorama trail are super narrow so highly recommend bringing poison oak wipes/washing everything afterwards (even shoes).

Summary: Creamery Trail > Beach Trail > CLOCKWISE: Ridge Trail > Panorama Trail > Spring Trail > Bluffs Trail > Beach Trail > Creamery Trail

If you're not feeling like a long hike, you could do the counterclockwise version to the pink sand beach and just don't take the panorama trail uphill. Doing this as an in and out trail to the beach, would prob be ~2 miles each way... maybe less.

It’s not a hike, more like a walk but my goodness is it beautiful and worth the stop!

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