Limekiln State Park is a 716-acre park along Highway 1, just south of the small settlement of Lucia in the Big Sur region. The park features a two-unit campground with a group of sites in the redwood forest and a second group of sites closer to the beach. There are also a few picnic tables for day use. There is no visitor center within the park, but interpretive information is available 26 miles north on Highway 1 at Big Sur Station. Limekiln State Park's main attraction is its short network of trails that head inland through a mixed forest of oaks and second-growth redwoods. The main trail splits into three separate trails: (1) the Hare Creek Trail, which ascends the narrow canyon of Hare Creek, (2) the Limekiln Falls Trail, which leads to 100' Limekiln Falls, and (3) the Limekiln Trail, which visits the old 19th Century lime kilns for which the park is named. “From the Redwoods to the Sea” aptly describes the unique topography of Limekiln State Park. This gem of a park 52 miles south of Carmel adjoins the Ventana Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest. On the legendary Big Sur coastline where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific, the park offers peaceful solitude, a breathtaking waterfall, and seascapes of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Watch wildlife from the beach or along fern-lined trails and picnic among the redwoods. Deep within their forest sanctuary along the west fork of Limekiln Creek tower the four enormous kilns from which the creek takes its name. The park features breathtaking views of the Big Sur Coast, the beauty of the redwoods, the rugged coast and the cultural history of limekilns. The park has 24 campsites. The summer climate at this sparsely populated segment of the central coast is typically mild. Morning fog in the summer usually burns off before midday. Temperatures vary from about 50 to 75 degrees. Other seasons can vary from one extreme to another on the same day, so dressing in layers is recommended. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park. The park is open from 8am to sunset.

Fantastic views and really hard hiking but we love it

We stayed at the campground for a pre-Christmas trip. The area was beautiful as was the weather. The trail was easy and there is a good chance you will get wet on one or more of the water crossings heading to the falls. Bring your camera and good shoes or boots.

Wonderful hike

Solo hiked on Sep 29 2018.
This is certainly a hard one and NOT recommended for anyone without hiking experience and body strength to hike 20 miles (the map is off by almost 8 miles if you take the full loop). The trail is strait uphill with great view over the ocean and the surrounding mountains.
I did this as a day hike but certainly wouldn’t recommend it. Best would be to camp at one of the campsites (Trail spring camp or the Goad Camp) and hike the day after and make sure to get a chance to see the amazing sky at night.
I camped the night before and after at Limekiln campsite which is a perfect location to start/end this trail. If you take the Limekiln trail from the campsite you can branches off and head to Alvin Trail (it is marked as closed but it was open when I was there) which goes uphill and then merges into the Twin Peak trail.
Left around 7:30 am and took the Twin peak trail and then went to the Cone peak and came down from the Cone peak trail and got back by 6:30 pm. I’m a fast hiker and usually walk faster than an average person, made 4-5 stops to eat and refresh (2 hour combined)so count that in your calculations.
The first half loop to Twin Peak was mostly exposed but the other half was mostly covered. Make sure to take enough water (I took 4.5 Litters which was a bit extra but better to be safe).
The trail is well maintained but some areas were very bushy and tricky to get through, also be careful with poisonous oaks as they are abundant in the area and this trail. The trail from Twin Peak to Cone peak was a bit rocky and I felt lost as it really don’t look much like a trail for 0.1 miles.
I met one person on this hike and had lunch at the Cone Peak and head down at 2:00 pm but he was planning to camp there for the night. Took the Twin Peak trail to go back which turned to be much longer than what I expected.
On my way back looked at Trail Spring camp which seem to be big enough for a group of 6 people but no water although there seemed to be a creek bed which was dry at the time I was there. The Goat camp looked a lot bigger and possibly could fit up to 15 people and had water source nearby.
Beautiful hike but needs experience and love for hiking, highly recommended for 2 days backpacking.

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

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!

More easy than moderate. Absolutely beautiful and very shady.

Amazing forest setting...this easy but beautiful trail is not to be missed.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a very scenic short trail system suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit. The trail requires scrambling over and under logs in a few places and crosses a steam multiple times with makeshift log and stone crossing points. We went at end of July and water was low enough that you could cross without getting feet wet. The trail is through second growth redwood forest and is shaded and very cool the entire time. Great for a break on a hot day. The waterfall is worth seeing, though not spectacular. The abandoned lime kiln is cool. Our three children 12, 14, and 22 enjoyed it and our eldest did a ton of off trail scrambling on the rocks and fallen logs. Trailhead is at the far end of camping area, walk past everyone, there are a small number of day use parking spaces for $10 fee. If it’s full there is parking on side of road above. At the opposite end of camping area there is a small sand beach and rocky area where the creek empties into the ocean. Cross a wooden bridge and walk under the bridge. That is also super cool and worth a visit. The water is freezing but nice to splash around. Bring trunks and water shoes.

Great hike. The redwoods are breathtaking! It’s very shaded, perfect in the summer heat. Go to the 100 foot waterfall, you have to cross the creek a few times but that’s the fun part. Then go check out the Kilns, they’re really interesting and make for beautiful photos.
Be careful, there is poison oak everywhere.
Also, There’s NO (zero) cell service anywhere in Big Sur.

lots of climbing over branches and stream crossings. Absolutely gorgeous. my favorite things: redwoods, running water and fog

Things that made this a great trip:
1. No cell service without a 30 minute drive (read boss can’t call you)
2. We had a campsite at the beach, with the sounds of both the ocean and a fast flowing creek to sooth us to sleep.
3. It’s near enough to Monterey to get good seafood if you’re willing to drive 90 minutes
4. Lots of scenic lookouts of the beautiful Big Sur coastline
5. You can go from the beach to the California Redwoods within minutes by foot.
6. Not “touristy” unless you head to Monterey, etc...
7. Did I mention no cell service for ANY provider?

This was our first visit, but not our last. My wife has added it to our regular vacation rotation.

Very cool trail, did this several years ago with another family of 4, so we had 4 adults and 4 kids under the age of 7 with the youngest being 3. At the water crossings we had to play pass the baby but it was definitely worth it. The kids and adults alike enjoyed the kilns and the history behind them! Would definitely recommend this trail!

backpacking
6 months ago

Loved this trail. Amazing views and challenging terrain. If you choose to go up the right side of the loop, beware of the rigorously steep terrain and also there is absolutely no water until you descend half way down cone peak down the other side of the loop. I packed in 2 gallons and still ran out 2 hours prior to reaching cone peak. Along the left side of the loop there is a water spring about every hour or so and it is a much easier path to take. I started my hike at midnight on Sunday and camped 2,100 ft up the trail just above the fog. Started at it again at 0900 that morning and made it back to the bottom by 21:00 Monday night. Planned on staying another night but getting dehydrated on the right side of the loop really took away all my desire to camp. Hope this post helps future backpackers!

If this trail had a little more upkeep, it would be amazing. A hike to a narrow and high waterfall or a hike to some old large kilns (or b both) are totally worth the risk of an errant piece of rebar or a collapsed trail. Beautiful views of large redwoods and exposed root systems make this dappled light park a must see.

Very nice easy hike to a secluded falls. Lots of opportunities for going beyond the marked trail to more secluded spots.

Our favorite hike so far in Big Sur

Stunning redwood grove + creeks (and creek crossings) make for a fantastic short hike. Rocks/wood at creek crossings can be quite slippery so be careful! Falls at end of trail pretty but IMO nothing overly special. Signed detour to see the limekilns - was quite interesting - would recommend!

Great trail. Gorgeous views in spring. Be prepared to get your feet soaked. Rocks on the creeks can be slippery too. All worth it though.

Gorgeous. we are visiting Big Sur with three kids (2,13,15) and we all loved it. one of the best if not the best hikes we've done here. i strongly recomend it to families. not too hard for kids; not too long but beautiful all the way, all along the creek with the noise of the water and the waterfall at the end as the reward (out and back trail). just note that you have to cross the creek a coiple of times through rocks and longs but lots of fun if your kids like the adventure type of challenge!

Obsessed with this trail! Great for kids, adventure through rock hopping, and combine the Limekilns for a really fun trip.

Beautiful trail with a waterfall at the end. Have to go across the creek a couple times but there are rocks and logs. Nothing too hard!

hiking
10 months ago

Fun trail with a lot of creek and rock hopping

My gf and I took this trail far back where there is not much of a trail. You cross over multiple fallen trees and rock hop your way to gorgeous waterfalls and a bunch of Banana Slugs back there. If you push far back it gets sketchy but worth it each push further back. We hit an area with a bunch of fallen trees, one going across and another across that one. Had to scuttle across and under the other fallen tree, looked uncrossable at first with a 20 ft drop on both sides. Fun!

hiking
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

This trail is not on most published maps. Nonetheless it is well maintained and serves as the most direct route to Twin Peak summit. When I say most direct, that is because it goes strait up! There are no switchbacks and this is a brutal though beautiful climb. It's more of a mountain peak ascent than a hike. Not for the faint of heart, but you'll be rewarded with amazing views. There's water up about a mile from the otherwise unmarked trailhead. Look for the sign marking the state park boundary. Again, this trail is NOT on most maps starting up about 2.5 miles where it intersects two other trails, one of which heads left, the other right. This one heads right up the middle,

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

beautiful hike

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Totally worth every step. Not too hard so beautiful.

hiking
Sunday, November 05, 2017

Beautiful out and back trail. It’s short in length but definitely not short in sites and beauty

Monday, September 25, 2017

Secret

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Short easy hike with beautiful views.

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