Explore the most popular birding trails in Hearst San Simeon State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

walking
10 days ago

There was more wildlife in one area than I had ever experienced!

I didn’t find it very challenging, but it was still a very peaceful hike. There’s views of the ocean and the mountains. I would definitely recommend this trail.

Trail is not well marked. Waste of time. Much better choices in the area for sure.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike! Flowers, birds, seals, sea anemones, hawks getting their prey. If you wanted you can fish or stroll on the beach.

Friday, November 10, 2017

We hiked on November 7. This has potential for 5 stars but the last half of the trail loop is poorly marked and deteriorates into a narrow footpath. We would have gotten seriously lost several times without the live tracking feature of this app. And once was at the time of our sighting a bobcat or mountain lion. It was impossible to avoid poison oak, too.

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Great trail, kinda hard to follow but definitely a great hike.

on San Simeon Nature Trail

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

It has potential. The trail isn't marked very well but, thankfully, we had the app and decent cell service. It is very overgrown and the trail was washed out in places. We only went a short bit past the bridge that crosses the marsh before giving up because of the weeds and poison oak - less than half a mile. One of my daughters ended up with a tick on her. Mostly disappointing but if I hear that the trail has been worked on, I'll give it another go.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

It was a beautiful trail. We saw a family of deer by the wetlands. There was a lot of poison oak all over the trail. One person from our group found a tick.
But, overall it was a beautiful hike.

super easy trail for all skill levels, definitely not moderate as listed. but it was a very good hike with great views

Beautiful spot to see a lot of wildlife away from tourists, there was no one else on the trail when we were there... but I pulled off about 25-30 ticks from my sandals and legs as they began crawling up my body.

It was unbelievable how many ticks there were, I've never in my entire life seen such an infestation.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Dogs NOT allowed. Soooo overgrown with pricked and poison oak. Was so thankful when over and then I found ticks. Have NEVER pulled off so many.

This trail is a little close to the road for my taste. Obviously it's not a very trafficked stretched (especially with Big Sur mostly closed off at this time) but it was less than ideal. However, the views -- particularly on the latter half, north of the lighthouse -- were spectacular and if you're into seals there are tons of fairly close views of them. There were not many people on the second half, even on Memorial Day weekend.

The parking lot is north of the popular seal viewing spot, and is marked with a blue Vista Point sign and on Google Maps it is labeled "Friends of the Elephant Seals." You can't really see the lot from the road.

hiking
Monday, April 17, 2017

This was a challenging trail to locate. The path we took was 2.5 miles so what I"m reviewing is clearly not quite this trail. We began at the Washburn parking lot on the boardwalk. When the trail arrived at the road, we crossed it and went to the trail on the right (a "trail" sign near by). Another option was to not cross the road and pick up another trail that began with an informative sign next to this outlet. Neither trail was marked with a name so we were guessing. Without our phones to show us a good map, we guessed wrong and shouldn't have crossed the road. Picking up the trail across the road, we headed up the trail which follows the road to the campground (although you don't see it) As we were heading in the direction of the campground, we found a Y in the trail, and we opted to stay on the "main" trail going up the hill. (It turns out that other trail in the Y was the outlet of our loop) We arrived at the outer northern edge (left side) of the campground and continued along until we reached the far end. Rather than circling the campground and going south, we veered off to the left (north) to venture down into the creek area. Our trail had a sense of disuse but that was due to the overgrowth from a great winter. Occasionally we came across park signs which encouraged us. Always bearing to the left, we completed the loop, 2.5 miles, eventually finding the other part of the Y. WARNING: there was a lot of poison ivy present. Fortunately, it seemed it was ever only on 1 side of the trail and we were able to avoid contact. It was a great hike, easy with a steady climb (25 floors on the fitbit) but such a great sense of nature, the shaded forest, the open hillsides....nice variety.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

Great views of wildlife

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2016

Catherine is correct - go to the parking lot just north of the main one. The trail is easy, with the exception of a wooden bridge over a ravine. Shouldn't be an issue unless you are over 60 and have balance issues. We hiked this in mid-August and it was nearly deserted. Great views of pristine coastlines and beaches, as well as the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Basically flat - little to no elevation on this trail, but surface is uneven. This hike is well worth it!

hiking
Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Nice easy trail to follow along the shoreline and see wildflowers, seals, sea gulls and the Pacific Ocean.

Beautiful, easy walk!

Family had a great time!!!

walking
Friday, March 25, 2016

Beautiful place to walk if your looking for a nice stroll. I stayed in San Simeon for the night, arrived at 3pm for check in and adventured over to the park for a 2 hour walk. Went down to the beach and relaxed for a few. It was beautiful out and perfect temperature! If you're looking for a quiet place to rest or walk, this is it! I will definitely return!

hiking
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nice hike on the bluffs and down on the beach and rocks. We did it in reverse parking at the north end.

Es una aventura muy bonita ver de cerca los leones marinos ah les sujiero que para Febrero es la mejor epoca para ir a mirar los leones marinos porque es el tiempo para procrear y hay cantidades la playa se llena. Luego ir de caminata para estirar las piernas.

hiking
Monday, January 05, 2015

Midway on this trail there is a parking lot along Hwy 1 where all the buses stop for tourists to view the elephant seals. Go to the next parking lot just north of here and follow the trail north towards Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Here the bluffs are nearly deserted except for the hords of elephants seals on the shoreline. The spring flowers were amazing in 2013, but a return trip in fall of 2014 found the vegetation severely affected buy the drought.

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