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

Southern Cali Map

This trail is straight up. Bring water because you’re in the sun most of the time. My Garmin watch clocked the mileage at 6.6 miles not 5.9.

Hard work up and down but the views from the top totally worth it. Stunning views up and down the coast.

This hike is NOT dangerous unless your wearing sandals like some people do. If you start into the canyon and hike to the posted sign at 1.25 m. that says to not continue, you will have a immediate -.1 incline, and it’s very doable. After that it’s smooth sailing.


Beautiful hike, a great workout with awesome views. We hiked it backwards and it was nice to get the sea breeze on the way down. Hiking it never felt dangerous.

After doing the entire loop today I find some of these reviews to be pretty funny. Yes there are dangerous parts to this hike as one would expect hiking through a canyon and then up to the top of a mountain. We honestly don’t know why the trail is closed though. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done especially once you reach the summit and over look the beautiful coastline.

There are a lot of smaller trails that branch off of the main trail. The old mission is an added bonus. It's a state park and is restored to give you an idea of what it once was like.

Breathtaking view especially at sunset. Of course a must on every drive down Hwy 1!

Great hike and amazing view, next time I'm thinking about trying it counterclockwise so the last part of the hike wouldn't be in direct sun!

My favorite Big Sur hike.

Very short. $10 fee for parking if you park in the state park parking lot. And once you get to the walkway a large portion of it is closed off which was disappointing because it would be a much better view of the falls if we could go further out on the walkway/viewpoint. With that being said the portion of the walkway that was closed off did look very decrepit. But you’d think with the hundreds of dollars they make per day on parking alone that they’d fix the walkway of one of the most famous sights on Hwy 1 but I digress.
My suggestions would be to park along the highway to save the $10 (or pay and hope they fix the walkway at some point). I also think you may be able to see the falls from the Hwy just north of the parking lot. We missed it yesterday but are planning on stopping there today. It’s just a small turn out off the road but there were many people stopped there taking pictures back towards the direction of the falls.

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.

1 month ago

Hiked October 4th. Crossed paths with other Day hikers doing the entire 5.4 mi loop. Trail conditions were as described, similar to my hike in spring 2015.

Beautiful trail! Harder than I had thought: better to bring plenty of water and a hat (shade is rare privilege over here). But you do get a wonderful view of the ocean once you reach the top!
Did it in four hours and I took my time.

Trail to the falls was not accessible at this time

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

1 month ago

Scenery: 4
Views: 4
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 2
Shade: 2

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Amazing view from the road! Unfortunately you can’t take the path all the way down right now but you can walk down a bit and get a different view! It’s easy to miss off the road but it’s across from be Julia Pfieffer State Park sign!

Loved this easy trail with fun river crossings! I used poles while crossing the rivers and it was a huge help!

One of my favorite finds driving down Highway 1- the view is absolutely stunning. Wouldn’t consider this a hike since you can park on the side of the road and find a path off the highway to get a better view. You can still see the tiny waterfall from the side of the road should you not want to enter the park or take the path down from the highway (half of the trail is currently closed).

1 month ago

Waterfalls path is closed. “Moderate” walk/hike is not worth the “view” at the top. You’ll see the best redwoods at the bottom.

Be prepared for a tough hike and take plenty of water! The route is VERY steep over the last few kms with little to no shade to shelter from the sun. If you’re after a challenge then this is an ideal trail with great views on the way up - you really feel like you’re walking to the top of the world! Not for beginners.

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).

1 month ago

Since my kids were small we come here at least once a year and anytime we are coming through the area. This is a great hike for small kids. It is easy short but offer rock hopping and enough scrambling to make it fun. Climb to the top of the falls if you can!

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

Beautiful hike with rewarding vistas! Fun to explore the boulders at the summit.

2 months ago

Potato Harbor Trail is an moderate to easy hike and the views are spectacular of the Santa Cruz Island Coast. This hike is well worth doing, best in the spring when everything is blooming and it is not too hot. This day the ride over was a little tough with the swells but not too bad. There is an orientation you should do after getting off the boat, then you can do whatever you had planned. I immediately hit the trail up to the bluff overlooking Scorpion Harbor, then out to Potato Harbor overlook. Bring plenty of water especially if you are hiking inland, hotter away from coast.

Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

Great views. Tough at the top with the optional rock climbing, but worth it.

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