Explore Pacific Coast Hwy - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Pacific Coast Hwy Map

great trail

Loved this trail. It was a good workout with the reward of stunning views. Would definitely recommend!

5 days 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

6 days ago

Beautiful view from the trail. This trail is rated moderate. I hate to see what hard is. Take lots of water and enjoy the scenery. We are beginners so It was hard for us but we were able to conquer it. I would recommend this.

Started from the small parking lot at the trail marked “exercise trail” it was fun but not marked well. The view from the top is amazing!

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.

12 days 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.

14 days 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.

15 days ago

Great, peaceful walk that can be shortened by driving to close to top. Great for showing family and friends views of Morro Bay.

17 days 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.

18 days ago

20 days 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

Would have been nice if we didn’t get attacked and consumed by mosquitos. Tried to enjoy an early morning hike, but there was no visibility of the bay due to fog. Could have been nice, but I wouldn’t know.

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.

24 days ago

Best Hike in Big Sur

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

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.

This hike is logged as 2.3 miles if you take it from the campground entrance. There is another parking lot towards the top of the trail and that is why some may say it’s a quick trail.

Trail is not marked very well and a bit confusing. Going up the trail, there were other unmarked trails which we later learned were Grove Trail and Pipeline Trail. When we were going down, we ended up in the middle of the golf course because we did not go far enough. We ended up walking
along the street near the Inn at Morro Bay to get back to the parking lot just outside the entrance of the campground.

View at the top is amazing with a nice view of The Rock.

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

One of my least favorite stops in Big Sur. Not a bad thing but just not anything too memorable the best part of the beach was the stairs. There was no sand dollars to be found at low tide besides a couple of broken ones. The rocks were ok, the caves were pretty. The bathrooms are gross.. the lady collecting the money was very sweet

The walk took us a little over 1 hour. It's rather easy than moderate we think (and we're beginning hikers). The view at the top is not amazing, but overall we liked the hike.

29 days ago

Great hike - epic! I didn’t read the reviews here prior to departing and hiked bluffs trail to ridge trail. Bluff trail has plants on both sides 5 feet tall at times and the uphills were steep. We parked on the street.

29 days ago

great hike as all others have said. Hard going up the Ridge Trail for moderate hikers. Saw awesome falcon's fighting in the air for food, deer and their babies and beautiful ocean vistas. Beautiful spread of wildflowers- Trail easy to follow... lots of erosion on Panorama trail with a "fence" of poison oak. In fact, poison oak was doing very well on most of the trail. Best to keep appendages covered. bring plenty of water and wear good shoes

So much fun! Rangers will likely advise you to go the bluff trails way, but I highly suggest going the ridge trail clockwise direction if you plan on doing the whole loop. That way you get the hardest inclines out of the way and have the most ocean views on the way down. And you can head down the spring trail for easy beach access and one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to in big sur on your way back. Beautiful trail and not too hard either :)

1 month ago

incredible views. very cold even in July

1 month ago

Great hike! I recommend starting on the ridge trail and finishing on the bluff trail to get the steep part out of the way first. The views were awesome!

on Valencia Peak Trail

1 month ago

just hiked this one earlier today. fog was a view killer, but it was nice and cool. I will be back, for sure.

I did this hike on 7-11-18 and it was fantastic! I definitely highly recommend it for all levels of hikers.

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