Explore Big Sur Hikes - 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 Hikes Map
23 days ago

Short trek to the redwoods. Not a very clear trail. But it was nice to see the redwoods not far off the road.

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!

on Redwood Gulch

1 month ago

A very short hike to the gulch but it's so pretty. I was very happy to see the redwoods. You can also scramble up some rocks at the end and there is a hike-in camping area too.

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.

2 months ago

when I went there was a small trickle of water. it's a 5 minute hike. Real pretty, but I would recommend going after a rain to see more water.

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!

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.

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.

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

3 months ago

Nice trail, great redwoods (not old growth). We parked at the trailhead on the right. After we hiked about 100 ft and turned around we realized we should have drove around the corner and parked on the left. The trail seemed to degrade after the 3rd stream crossing at 1.4 miles so at that point we turned around.

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.

6 months ago

My boyfriend and I took our first backpacking trip on this trail, and it was great for our first time. Not too long and a little elevation change was a good challenge. There were a lot of downed trees on the trail and a little difficult to climb over/under with my pack, but it was good practice. we kept our dogs off leash the whole time and never really saw anyone else. We camped at the site with the picnic table, and it was a gorgeous little spot with big redwoods anchoring the site. One piece of advice, when the trail splits and you have to choose to go up or go down, my advice is to go up. We went down and couldn't figure out how to continue along the creek after we went down. There were so many large rocks and downed trees along the creek, it was too difficult to maneuver with our packs and short legged dog friends were having trouble.

Steeper than you think

Beautiful views along the entire hike and lots of poison oak as others have mentioned. Wear pants if you are sensitive to it because it is pretty much impossible to avoid. There is only one tiny stream along the way so bring enough water to get you the 5 miles to Vicente flats.
There are a lot of campsites and it was nearly empty on the Tuesday I stayed. Only a few other campers so I found a great site along the creek. The rushing water drowned out most of the sounds of the forest so it was quite serene and peaceful. The sites are all in a pretty dense redwood forest so there is almost total shade all day.
Mosquitos were active near dusk but didn’t last too long.
Overall, a great short backpacking trip in the Ventana Wilderness.

Gorgeous area. Poison oak is thick along a good portion of the trail, many times growing into the trail so that you have to maneuver over or around it. The trail is only wide enough for one way traffic, so at times you may have to move over into the poison oak. So beware. We arrived on Thursday at 12:30 pm and found one of the last available parking spots alongside Hwy 1. The trail is steep, right from the beginning, and for the majority of the way to Vicente Camp. The views are incredible, from multiple different spots. Many flowers along the way. The campground was not too crowded. We could not hear anyone talking, over the sound of the rushing creek. Very serene and beautiful spot.

The trail is in good condition and the walk overlooking the ocean is spectacular. There are six trees across the trail, one is a “Killer Tree” which I flagged with killer tree flagging, when passing under this tree avoid touching it or spending any time in the vicinity near the tree. I plan to bring in a crosscut saw next week and clear the trees. The campsites at Vicente Flat were very clean and not much toilet paper around the campsites, everyone seems to be OK with packing out their toilet paper.
Please practice Leave No Trace when visiting our public lands.
Check the Ventana Wilderness Alliance web site for up to date trail conditions. http://www.ventanawild.org

I did this hike in late December. I started from the sea doing the hike at Ragged point inn and then continued across the road to start this hike. My legs were burning!!! At the top (where this all trails map ends), if you turn to the right and then hike straight and then after 200 yards veer off into the fields towards the right (there is a faint path you can follow), you are rewarded with a view all the way to the lighthouse and beyond!! Look for a dead tree at the top of the hill. An older gentleman told me about this when I thought I wouldn't even make it to the top. He inspired me to keep pushing and I was so grateful that I did!!

Beware Poison Oak!
A great hike along steep exposed hillsides and deep redwood filled creek draws, climbing up to a very nice stand of redwoods with several backpack campsites. There are some trails marked on ca state park maps that show the trail from limekiln state park connecting to this trail but that trail is unmaintained and full of windfalls and erosion from 2007 fire damage. Great views of the coastline and the extremely steep canyon of Hare creek and Limekiln creek below towering Cone peak. You can proceed to Cone Peak from Vicente Flat or turn around and go back to Kirk Creek campground. It was 55 degrees and sunny on February 22 with a light breeze. There is another campsite about 3 miles in that looks out at the ocean. Condors flew overhead and great sunset views over the ocean horizon made this an unforgettable day hike!

Fun trail. Made the mistake of thinking my novice mountain biking self could climb it on my bike. Didn't happen! pushed the bike up and enjoyed the ride down.

This trail was great. We started around 11am and made it to the end around 4pm. We stopped to take a lot of pictures and took a few breaks along the way too. The views were amazing and the weather was perfect. The first part takes you along a ridge heading north then the next half or so takes you through redwoods and past creek passings. There were places to filter water at the campsites but we had to do a bit of walking to find the running water. The only reason this trail didnt get five stars from me was because it was a bit more crowded than most other "moderately trafficked" trails I have been on. There were so many people we were wondering if there was some 3 day weekend of government holiday that we had spaced on. There wasn't, there just happened to be almost 30 other campers across the campgrounds. Now normally this would completely ruin the illusion of being out on my own while backpacking resulting in a worse rating but the saving grace was that the sites where you could camp were huge and really spread out. From where you first walk in to the campground to the spot we ended up picking it was almost a .75 miles away. So while crowded, we didn't have to deal with other people to much. All in all this trail was great and I'm sure I'll be back in the future.

This is one of my favorite trails in the area. Went on a clear sunny day, low 70s. The sweeping views of the ocean were breathtaking. You get to take it in for most of the trail. It’s a steady incline all the way to the top. Enjoyed the changing landscapes from open trail to some shaded sections. Almost turned around at the last main ocean vantage point going up to the top...but so glad I didn’t! Some beautiful old trees near the end. Then you’re rewarded with a sweeping view of the mountain range facing opposite the ocean.

Gorgeous views. I’d rate this as a moderate-difficult trail especially if backpacking on a hot day. The beginning is very steep but gets better after that. There’s a small creek still flowing about 2 miles into the hike and when you get to buckeye camp there’s a hose with running water but we still filtered it not knowing where it was from. Our campsite was overlooking the ocean so we watched the sun set and then slept under the stars. Can’t beat that!

Beautiful fire road trail. The ragged point inn recommended this trail. Once you get to the top, you can go right or left. We chose to go left but didn't get to the end of the trail. Highly recommend!


It was a clear day and the views were great. Had I known there were nice campsites at the end I would have brought camping gear and stayed the night. There are even more trails to head out on past the campsites.

Loved walking out the front door from camp and heading out on this trail, beautiful hike.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Did a quick overnight from Salmon Creek Ranger station (non operational). Steep most of the way in to Buckeye camp but plenty of water even in September (2 creeks still flowing and plenty of water at the Rangers station and at buckeye camp). Overlooks were superb. Only 2 other hikers on the trail but brush was nicely cleared and no poison oak was reaching onto the trail. One small slide area about 1 1/2 miles before buckeye camp but besides that all of the trail was well maintained.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Once you get to Upper Cruikshank descend down to the river for an awesome campsite at Villa Creek

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